Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The global final, which was held at the Czech beer brand’s Pilsen brewery, was the seventh of its kind.
The competition was the conclusion of a process that had seen 11 national finals take place, and was the culmination of the IMB training programme, which teaches bartenders the Pilsner Urquell ‘perfect pour'.
In winning the title of International Master Bartender trophy, Bergesen won a prize of €10,000 and a trip to London, along with the second and third placed finalists, to experience the UK capital’s beer culture.
The other finalists were Ota Haurythun of the Czech Republic and Bryan Panzica of the US.
Bartenders underwent a written test, a taste test, and an interview with the panel of judges and were tested on their knowledge of Pilsner Urquell’s history, production and their ability to pour the ‘perfect pint’.
Judging the bartenders was a panel comprising beer expert Alastair Gilmour, 2011’s IMB winner and a bar owner Fearghus McCormack, Pilsner Urquell’s brewmaster Vaclav Berka and Robert Lobovsky, global marketing manager for Pilsner Urquell.
Petr Dvorak, global brand director for Pilsner Urquell said: “Since the start of this competition, we have become continually inspired by the talented bartenders who have participated and the great amount of care, focus and dedication they put into each serve.”
"This year’s competition has been very memorable, we could not have hoped for a better selection of bartenders to compete in the landmark year of Pilsner Urquell’s 170th anniversary.”