Chances are you’ve never stood in a bar beside someone with a mighty thirst and just as they finished that first massive mouthful, you hear they say, “ohhhhhh that smells great”. With a mouthful of beer, it’s all about the taste. However, taste is the first cousin of smell.
Taste buds are capable of grasping five basic fundamental things:
While that may seem like the full tool kit, most of what goes on when you taste something has the heavy lifting done by your nose.
If you’re going beyond cracking a beer and drinking it down, the aroma is the second thing involved when you assess a beer. The other characteristics under the microscope being the look and the taste of your beer.
Watching videos of craft beer tastings can be intimidating. Seeing seasoned professionals list off seven things they smell while you smell beer can put you off. Don’t let it. If you do want to start assessing your beers, crack your can, pour, and get your nose down into the glass. There’s a rule of thumb in the craft industry that you’re not really into it all until you get your nose covered in suds. It’s a badge of honour – wear it!
Finally, the glass really does make a difference. Some glasses are designed to push the aromas up towards your nose, increasing the amount of purchase you can get on the given scents.