Bardstown Bourbon Company names Matt Porter ‘World’s Top Whiskey Taster’

December 1, 2020


Title awards 2020 champion $20,000 cash prize, Distillery Ambassador contract and Moonshine University Executive Bourbon Steward scholarship

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2020) – – – The Bardstown Bourbon Company, 1500 Parkway Drive, in partnership with Moonshine University, has crowned Matt Porter the 2020 “World Top Whiskey Taster.” Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, Porter competed against nine skilled contestants in the final competition held at Bardstown Bourbon Company on Saturday, Nov. 14. He and his fellow contestants faced three difficult challenges focused on sensory evaluation, whiskey blending and culinary pairing.

“To say that I am beyond excited for the opportunity to work with the Bardstown Bourbon Company team is an understatement. This journey has been amazing and life-changing for me and was an experience that none of the contestants will ever forget,” said Porter.

Porter’s newfound title is the culmination of Bardstown Bourbon Company’s months-long search to find the “World’s Top Whiskey Taster” through various virtual competitions led, evaluated and scored by a host of prominent judges. Earlier this year, whiskey lovers, connoisseurs and fans enthusiastically responded to the contest’s call for online submissions to showcase their passion for and knowledge of all things bourbon. Contestants were then chosen to compete in regional qualifiers held virtually across the country. Following a perfect score from the qualifying competition, Porter, the mid-Atlantic regional winner, was considered a strong contender entering the finale.

“2020 has been a crazy year and forced us to make a lot of adjustments to this competition, “said Bardstown Bourbon Company president and CEO Mark Erwin. “We were so impressed with the level of dedication and skill each of the contestants were able to demonstrate.”

Porter was awarded a cash prize of $20,000 with a contract to represent Bardstown Bourbon Company as a Distillery Ambassador at some of the country’s top whiskey festivals in 2021, including WhiskyFest and Whiskies of the World. He also received a scholarship to Moonshine University’s Executive Bourbon Steward certification program and a trip to Bardstown, Kentucky, where he’ll blend a custom product with Master Distiller Steve Nally.

Here is a sneak peek at the event and the winner’s announcement. A full digital production of the entire competition will be released Dec. 7.

About Bardstown Bourbon Company:

Located in the heart of Bourbon Country on 100 acres of active farmland, Bardstown Bourbon Company, 1500 Parkway Drive, Bardstown, Ky. is one of the country’s most modern and technically advanced whiskey distilleries. Celebrating the art of making high-quality, authentic whiskey, the innovative distillery produces custom rye, whiskey and bourbon for prominent brands including Jefferson’s, High West, Belle Meade, Hirsch and many others through its one-of-a-kind Collaborative Distilling Program. Bardstown Bourbon Company honors tradition and drives innovation with its exceptional destination experience for visitors, offering one of the only full-service restaurants located within a distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Bardstown Bourbon Company Kitchen & Bar. For more information, visit or follow Bardstown Bourbon Company on Facebook and Instagram.

About Moonshine University:

Founded by David Dafoe in 2012, Moonshine University is the nation’s premier educational distillery and the exclusive educational member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Located in the heart of bourbon country, Moonshine University offers comprehensive, hands-on spirits education courses and services to entrepreneurs and professionals from around the world. As of 2019, graduates of this course have gone on to successfully launch 165 distilleries worldwide and counting. Moonshine University also houses the Stave & Thief Society, a comprehensive, hands-on bourbon certification program established to promote Kentucky’s distinguished bourbon culture. For more information, please visit and

Contact: Kaitie Cothron
[email protected]
(502) 614-5997
Or Sallie Gardner
[email protected]
(502) 614-5998
Estes Public Relations
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