State wants to expose you to quality liquor

Aug 19, 2011

A new law giving distillers the opportunity to set up tastings in state-run liquor stores goes into effect Sept. 1 and runs for a year.

The “spirits tasting pilot” was established by the Washington Legislature in response to a request from the Distillery Representative Association of Washington (DRAW).

“The spirits sampling pilot is a win for both consumers and producers,” said Carrie Tellefson of DRAW in a prepared statement. “With so many products available, the tasting events offer consumers a valuable opportunity to taste spirits in a controlled environment, learn about new, premium products and provide valuable feedback for distillers.”

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has selected 30 state, contract and tribal liquor stories statewide for the pilot tasting program.

Here’s the rules:

  • The pilot will take place between September 1, 2011 and September 1, 2012.
  • Sampling will be limited to ¼ oz with four samples maximum.
  • Only product sponsors, such as a distiller representative, may serve samples.
  • Servers must have Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) permit.

Stores are permitted one tasting event per week. The tasting events will be either Fridays or Saturdays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Upcoming tasting events will be posted at the 30 stores, as well as on the Events page of the Stores and Products section of the WSLCB website at

“We are excited to have this opportunity for our customers to taste new and interesting products in our stores,” said WSLCB Chair Sharon Foster in a press release. “With more than 1,100 spirits products available in state stores, customers can now enhance their product knowledge by trying something they may never have considered before and learn first-hand about the products from distillers’ representatives. ”