Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Big Test - WSET 2 Exam

The past nine weeks of my WSET course came to a close this past week.  It was exam time!

It was an interesting time - instead of our usual classroom with tables of 5 which promoted lots of discussion, it was a more traditional setting where desks were arranged in rows, in groups of two. I sat on one of the side rows and, like most of the group, was on my own for the first part of the class.

The 'S' in WSET stands for 'spirits' so, before the exam, we did some tasting and talking about spirits.

We covered - and tasted  - all of the biggies; cognac, armagnac, rum, Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, vodka and tequila. When tasting, the WSET book says to mix one part water with one part alcohol. In practice, our instructor, Dave, had us add just a capful of water to a half ounce of liquor.

I was quite happy to swish and spit all of them - except for one. There was a nice Bowmore 12 year old Scotch whisky that I had to drink every drop of!

By the way, Scotch is spelled whisky while Irish is spelled whiskey. Dave gave us this way to remember - just think - the Scots are too cheap to give it the extra letter!

From an old exam - the answer is C!
After a short break, we returned to the room and began our exam. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't give that much info about what was on the exam. There were 50 multiple choice questions from all over the WSET textbook, some I had seen before in the zillion practice questions I had done, and some that were new to me (what the heck is a gyropalette?).  Most frustrating were the questions that were strangely worded or had double negatives - they seemed to be testing problem solving skills rather than knowledge.

From an old exam - the answer is A!
So, how did I do? I do not know! Even though we filled out scantron bubble sheets, the actual tests have to be sent to London (England, not Ontario) and marked there and then sent, probably by schooner, back to Canada and then, after the folks at Fine Vintage sort out what comes back, you get your results and certificate. This should take about 8 weeks! Yes, 8 weeks!

The pass mark is 55%, merit is 70% and distinction is 85%. I am going to boldly make a prediction (hopefully not like my bold wine assessments that were completely wrong) about where I finished. I am certain that I passed. I also think that it is a pretty safe bet that I passed with merit. There is a chance that I passed with distinction but that is definitely not for sure. There were probably 10 questions that I was uncertain about and used my best guesses. If I was right with even half of them, I am in. Of course, there's the other 10 questions that I am sure that I got right - although maybe.....

 From an old exam - the answer is 1, 2, and 3!

Now the waiting begins.

In the meantime, I will use this blog to comment on wines that I try and experiences I have relate to drinking wine. If there is a wine that you would like me to try, put that in the comments - otherwise, I will continue to work my way through my wine education.


1 comment:

  1. Why would anyone want to proceed beyond the Irish whiskey?