WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits Study Note – 3

WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits Study Note – 3

Attached my study note for WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits. I have also included a mini Q&A that posted answers to questions that I have raised while studying the course material. The material presented in Q&A might not be relevant to the examination and at times might not be included in the course material.

This section contains comparison of the different spirits type in terms of locations, raw materials, fermentation process, distillation, post-distillation, aromas, flavor, blending, colors, sweetness and other short notes.

TypeCaribbean RumTequilaAromatised Wines
LocationThe Caribbean is a region composed of several countries and territories.Only designated state in Mexico can produceAnywhere in the world. Well know region: South-east France North-West Italy
Raw MaterialSugar Cane Molasses:
This is the byproduct of extracting sugar from sugar cane juices. It has to be mixed with water before fermentation starts.
Blue agave plantBased Wines + flavouring [ always include somehting bitter ] + sugar + spirit

Typically white wines, rose and red wines are used also.

Spirits are added to increase ABV and shelf life.

1. wormwood
2. Gentian
3. Quinine
FermentationCan be fermented directly from the crushed juice.Cook agave cores in ovens and crushed to create a sweet juice.

Agave juice is mixed with water to created a sugary liquid.

Other sugar can be added prior to fermentation. But 51% has to be from blue agave.
DistillationBoth pot or column still.

Rhum Agricole uses short column still.
Column still Double pot distill
Post-DistillationSome rums are aged in oak, some are unaged. It is diluted with water prior bottling.Can be aged or unaged. Tequila are usually not aged for a long period. They are blended and dilute prior bottling.

Unaged: Blanco or Silver Joven, Oro or Gold

Oak Aged: Reposado 2-12 months, prominent oak flavour with pronounced agave aromas

Anejo: at least 12 months, both agave and oak flavours.
AromaTropical fruits Aged in oak : Vanilla and sweet spice.Herbaceous
FlavourRum made from sugar cane juice: Grassy Herbaceous

Rum made from molasses:Caramel Brown sugar
ColorsColors in aged Rum is removed via Charcoal filter.

Unaged Rum is stored in stainless steel container. Caramel color is used to color Rum.
Caramel color are usedCaramel are used sometimes
SugarSome rum are sweetened esp. in Central and South America.Almost no aromatized wine are dry, sugar are either added exists in the wine
NotesRhum Agricole, also known as agricultural rum, is a type of rum that is produced primarily in the French-speaking Caribbean islands, particularly MartiniqueGuadeloupe, and Haiti. It is made from freshly pressed sugarcane juice rather than molasses.

Jamaican distillers are well known of making tropical fruits aromas and flavor rum. In Cuba and Puerto Rico, Rum is distilled using high column still to give it light aroma intensity with high strength.
Tequila 100% agave ⇒ Only agave is used Tequila ⇒ 51%These are not spirits but used in cocktails to bring sweetness, bitterness and acidity to the drink.

Vermouth: White wine + wormwood

Dry Vermouth: Even though called dry, have added sugar Red Vermouth: Heavily sweetened

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