Coldbreak Brewing HERMS Giveaway!

HomeBrewSupply AMCYL Brew Kettle Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Tasting Advice
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-22-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
ThoricourtBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 42
Default Tasting Advice

Hello,

I'm looking for some advice on how to be a better beer taster. I am a great admirer of beer and would like to one day consider myself a true "connaiseur", but I know I need to refine my tastes. Are there ways to train your palate? I like to really savor every beer I drink, but I have a hard time explaining / detailing exactly what I'm tasting. Any advice?

Thanks,
Dan


ThoricourtBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
senorswiss
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 73
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoricourtBrewing View Post
Hello,

I'm looking for some advice on how to be a better beer taster. I am a great admirer of beer and would like to one day consider myself a true "connaiseur", but I know I need to refine my tastes. Are there ways to train your palate? I like to really savor every beer I drink, but I have a hard time explaining / detailing exactly what I'm tasting. Any advice?

Thanks,
Dan
Take a look at the BJCP style guide and see if you can pick out some of the characteristics appropriate for a specific style. There are commercial examples listed for each style, so you can look at those to help decide what beer to buy.

http://www.bjcp.org/stylecenter.php


senorswiss is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
carnevoodoo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,307
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Step 1: "connoisseur"
Step 2: When you brew, taste your grain. Each specialty grain will taste different (and most taste excellent alone!) and you will understand where basic flavors come from. Smell your hops and understand what they do.
Step 3: When you drink, think about tastes you can associate with what you're drinking. Does that stout have a coffee/roast/chocolate flavor? Does that IPA have any malt or do you just taste hops. What do the hops taste like? Grass? Grapefruit? Is it sweet? The descriptors make sense over time. The BJCP guides are ok, but if you really want, I suggest step 3.
Step 4: Buy the book Tasting Beer. Read it when you drink. Read it cover to cover and then again. There are a great number of descriptors in that book. It is a very straightforward book that lays out a lot of good information on tasting, and is written by the guy who is running the Cicerone program. Look that up, too.
Step 5: Drink more.

Experience is key for tasting. Both grain and finished products have helped me identify flavors much easier. I've also been lucky enough to go through the sensory evaluation courses a couple of times, but those can be pricy. Informative, though.
__________________
http://chugsd.com
carnevoodoo is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 08:03 PM   #4
bknifefight
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,940
Liked 103 Times on 78 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default

A big thing I struggled with was the vocabulary. I knew what I was tasting but didn't know how to describe it. Reading beer reviews gave me a better idea of how to express in words what I tasted.
bknifefight is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
remilard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 3,655
Liked 41 Times on 40 Posts

Default

Most people who write beer reviews on, say, BA or ratebeer are really bad at it. This is necessarily true as the descriptions of a particular beer vary dramatically from reviewer to reviewer.

You accomplish much more in terms of calibration and improving vocabulary but tasting beer with someone that you have good reason to believe is skilled in tasting. This can be informal or by judging comps.
remilard is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2010, 08:56 PM   #6
naughtyco
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Rochester, New York, NY
Posts: 38
Default

Just read more. Not just beer reviews but anything. You'll expand your vocabulary 10x over if you just exersise your brain daily.

You'll start to find adjectives that fit perfectly with beer like "earthy" and "bright", rather than just "bitter" or "hoppy".

Just read and you will find your own voice. And remember, with most reviews of ANYTHING...Just because you SOUND like you know what you're talking about, doesn't mean you actually do.
__________________
Shattered Lake IPA...Torgo's Hazelnut Brown...Midwest's Autumn Amber...AHS MacTarnahan's Amber Ale Clone...Charlie P's The Sun Has Left Us On Time Steam Beer...

Prepping for the move to AG

naughtyco is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #7
Homercidal
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Reed City, MI
Posts: 27,029
Liked 3494 Times on 2387 Posts
Likes Given: 2279

Default

I second the BJCP descriptions. Read them and drink a beer with the style guidelines for that style right in front of you.

Also, Randy Mosher has a nice book called "Tasting Beer" that is one of my favorite reads. Might be helpful and probably very entertaining as well.

You may also want to look into not only reading the BJCP guidelines, but actually taking a course. It will not only be very beneficial for tasting beer, but for making it as well.
__________________
If your takin' your girlfriend out tonight
You better park the car well out of sight
'Cos if they catch you in the back seat trying to pick her locks
They're gonna send you back to mother in a cardboard box !
Homercidal is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2010, 12:58 PM   #8
rwinzing
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bordentown, NJ
Posts: 456
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

+ 1 for reading "tasting beer" it is a great book and really walks through the different styles and taste profiles.
__________________
Friendly Acres Brewing
fabrewing.blogspot.com
rwinzing is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2010, 05:50 PM   #9
noble13
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Eagle, WI
Posts: 99
Default

Try various beers and think about what you are tasting and try to describe it. It might help to do this with others so you can discuss it. I used to be able to tell that similar beers were different, but now I can usually say how they are different.
noble13 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,674
Liked 141 Times on 134 Posts

Default

The Brewer's Association's site is also a good reference. They name the winning examples from GABF. Which is good when you can find them.


__________________
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk
david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What am I tasting? eightbt Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 08-15-2009 01:56 AM
tasting roofman70 Cider Forum 3 11-30-2007 03:25 AM
A tasting of Rye... PseudoChef Commercial Brew Discussion 2 11-13-2007 03:22 AM
Now that my first tasting when ok... ChrisS Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 05-31-2007 02:45 AM
Hot tasting Reverend JC General Beer Discussion 7 11-08-2006 12:11 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS