Aroma Academy US is bringing a British-developed system of sensory training to the United States. The training is centered on a “kit” of aroma essences that can be found in the nose of a particular spirit or wine. The kits are sold both within the training program and for home study. The company is based in Louisville, Kentucky, the home of Bourbon.


Ninety-five percent of what we perceive as “flavor” is really aroma. Breaking the complicated nose of a fine wine or spirit into its component aromas is extremely difficult. We teach our students to recognize those aromas individually. By learning the smells one at a time, it becomes easier to identify them in the glass, like picking familiar faces out of a crowd.


Sophisticated, discerning consumers are remaking the drinks industry, demanding products stretching far beyond the ordinary. We train passionate American drinks professionals to identify and articulate the special qualities of the spirits and wine they offer. The result is an improved customer experience and a boost in per-ticket revenue, along with the increased tips that go along with those things.


We focus on an often-neglected aspect of the sensory experience of drinks and cocktails. We’ve launched with two levels of training:

  • Introductory – a two hour session introducing the basic techniques of aroma profiling, and the recognition of the key aroma families that structure the spirit’s nose. Can be crafted both for professionals and enthusiasts.
  • One Day, One Spirit – for professionals, a full-day dive into Bourbon, Scotch, or Irish whiskies; red and white wine; gin; rum and (coming soon) craft beer. Graduates of the course are better able to work with their customers to find the perfect drink, and understand aroma in a way that improves their ability to create compelling cocktails.


Kits are available for Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish whiskies; gin; rum; and red and white wines. The kits have either 12 or 24 foundational aromas for each spirit category. Each kit comes with a book that guides the learner through the process of aromatic enlightenment. (OK, maybe “enlightenment” is going a little far, but you get it.)


Training of this caliber has traditionally been offered only in a few locations – Napa for wine, the Scottish Highlands for whisky, London for gin. We take our different-kind-of-training to places where cocktail culture is exploding, but little formal training has been available.

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