This is just a question about terminology. Those who are into brewing and beer making are zymurgists. Those who are aficionados of wine are oenologists. But what does one call a expert in distilling spirits ... an whiskey/bourbon/scotch spirits in particular?

Are there different terms for those who are masters at crafting these (stillmasters?) vs. those who have the expertise for judging and describing them?

I'm curious ... but I'd also like to know soon since I'm going to an annual scotch tasting party in my area.

  • 1
    Those who are into beer making are brewers, not zymurgists. Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 15:53

2 Answers 2


I believe the term "distiller" fits the bill for what you are describing.

Zymurgy (also called Zymology) applies to the scientific, technical, or academic study of fermentation (and some would include distilling), and not necessarily to the making of alcoholic beverages. However, many homebrewers self-style themselves as "zymurgists". Furthermore, the well-known academic programs in brewing and distilling use much more mundane words to described their programs (for example, to paraphrase, "the study of malting, brewing and fermentation").

Some other terms that apply to your question are:

  • Wine maker = "vintner".

  • Wine afficionado = "oenophile".

  • Beer maker = "brewer".

  • Beer lover = "cerevisaphile" (although that term is a neologism, and not in common currency) or "beer lover".


I was unable to find a word for the "study of distillation".

Also, to be clear, "zymurgy" is the study of fermentation, not necessarily beermaking.

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