After a months-long process including online submissions and several virtual qualifying rounds, Bardstown Bourbon Co. named Matt Porter as the “World’s Top Whiskey Taster.” As the 2020 champion, Porter earned a $20,000 cash prize, a Distillery Ambassador contract and a scholarship to Moonshine University’s Executive Bourbon Steward certification program. On Nov. 14 at the Bardstown, Ky.-based distillery, 10 contestants faced three challenges focused on sensory evaluation, whiskey blending and culinary pairing. Porter, who hails from Hartford, Conn., earned a perfect score in the Mid-Atlantic regional competition and was considered a strong contender entering the finale, the company says. In 2021, Porter will represent Bardstown Bourbon at some of the country’s top whiskey festivals, including WhiskyFest and Whiskies of the World. In addition to the scholarship, Porter won a trip to Bardstown, Ky., where he’ll blend a custom product with Master Distiller Steve Nally. In a statement, Porter said: “To say that I am beyond excited for the opportunity to work with the Bardstown Bourbon Co. 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.”