The liquid-phase esterification of acetic acid and isoamyl alcohol has been studied to develop a kinetic model using a sequential experimental design based on the divergence criterion. Data come from batch reactor experiments, performed in the temperature range of 316–363 K. Discrimination among 36 possible kinetic models, written in terms of activity, mole fractions, and molar densities, is possible through the deviance information criterion, as estimated by a Markov chain Monte Carlo technique. The obtained results indicate a negligible heat of reaction and a clear autocatalytic effect of acetic acid on the esterification rate. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Chem Kinet 45: 10–18, 2013