Tom Johnson is a communications consultant and former bartender based in Louisville, Kentucky. In his role as a trainer for the Aroma Academy, he has taught thousands of people how to properly nose and assess fine wines and spirits. He holds an advanced certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London and was the Plumpjack Fellow for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa Valley.
Based in Scotland, the Aroma Academy trains drinks professionals to separate, identify, and articulate sets of characteristic aromas present in wine, Bourbon, Scotch and Irish whisky, gin and rum. Training is based on kits of aromatic essences consisting of the same molecules that cause particular aromas in drinks. Because the sense of smell is associative and highly subjective, people often describe the same drink with a wide variety of indistinct descriptors. By focusing on a finite set of definite aromas, Aroma Academy graduates speak a common language that enables them to understand and communicate what makes a particular drink distinctive.