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Old 07-04-2014, 12:58 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I might pick up that book and dedicate myself to the selfless study of slurping beers until I'm a pro.

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Old 07-04-2014, 01:21 AM   #12
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It is a good book. +1 on writing things down. I think having to put words to what you are tasting is very helpful. I also like RateBeer reviews, many are ridiculously off, but many are very good. I also like to try single hop beers, then read descriptors of those hops, I can identify several hops if the are strong in a certain beer. Repetition, repetition, it's terrible, isn't it

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Old 07-04-2014, 01:25 AM   #13
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Tasting is one of those things that once you learn, you can't unlearn. Some days I wish I could just drink a beer and not have a list of possible ingredients or flaws hanging in the back of my mind.

Part of it is paying special attention to what you are tasting. And you only get three or four good sips before your tastebuds get fatigued.

Smell first. Try to get all your smelling in before you sip. You only get so many whiffs in before your nose fatigues too. If you drink, you lose your sense of smell faster.

My sense of smell isn't great. I taste a lot of things people say they smell.

Once you can detect distinct smells and flavors it's word association. What does it make you think of.

Write down what you taste. The act of taking notes makes you pay more attention to what you are doing.

I can pick out flavors in beer really well and find words to describe them: chocolate, coffee, nutty, citrus, etc. It even goes so far that I can speculate on ingredients.

I can't do it with wine at all. I can taste things in wine. But I can't associate those tastes with words. Most of the associations are fruits and I'm not much of a fruit eater. So when a red wine is described as having a plumb flavor or apricot flavor, it means nothing in my head.

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Old 07-04-2014, 01:59 AM   #14
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Reading ratebeer reviews is a good way to see for your yourself how pretentious people are when it comes to this sort of thing. 99.9% of it is people blowing smoke out of their ass while flipping through a thesaurus. There's all of the sudden a million people who want to be considered as beer critics/judges who possess a magical nose and palate.

You are either born with the "reference" sense of taste and smell or you're not. Same way you're either born with the ability to distinguish between musical notes, or you're born tone deaf. Nothing you can do to change it.

I'll give you an example. After you've eaten asparagus, do you smell a heavy metallic smell in your piss or is it just another piss? There is a gene that is responsible for the ability to smell asparagus piss, and apparently only 25% of the population has this gene. If you don't have it, then nothing you can ever do is going to give your nose the ability to detect asparagus piss and people who can't detect it are just going to tell you that you're crazy because "my nose works and there's nothing there".

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Old 07-04-2014, 02:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by podz View Post
Reading ratebeer reviews is a good way to see for your yourself how pretentious people are when it comes to this sort of thing. 99.9% of it is people blowing smoke out of their ass while flipping through a thesaurus. There's all of the sudden a million people who want to be considered as beer critics/judges who possess a magical nose and palate.

You are either born with the "reference" sense of taste and smell or you're not. Same way you're either born with the ability to distinguish between musical notes, or you're born tone deaf. Nothing you can do to change it.

I'll give you an example. After you've eaten asparagus, do you smell a heavy metallic smell in your piss or is it just another piss? There is a gene that is responsible for the ability to smell asparagus piss, and apparently only 25% of the population has this gene. If you don't have it, then nothing you can ever do is going to give your nose the ability to detect asparagus piss and people who can't detect it are just going to tell you that you're crazy because "my nose works and there's nothing there".
Did not know that... I smell that nasty smell every time I eat asparagus, even after only a few hours sometimes seems to.come on faster with the more quantity. I figured everyone had that ability... Now I feel special, I guess.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theck View Post
Did not know that... I smell that nasty smell every time I eat asparagus, even after only a few hours sometimes seems to.come on faster with the more quantity. I figured everyone had that ability... Now I feel special, I guess.
Asparagus wizz reminds me of forgotten mop bucket water. Bleh..
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:33 AM   #17
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Did not know that... I smell that nasty smell every time I eat asparagus, even after only a few hours sometimes seems to.come on faster with the more quantity. I figured everyone had that ability... Now I feel special, I guess.
It's a little more complicated than just a single gene, but here's a reference that describes the thing in more detail:

http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mythasparagusurine.html

Basically, not all people have the gene that causes the odor to be secreted in the urine and not all people who do secrete the odor are able to detect the it. Those are two separate things.
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