Beer degustation is no less decadent comparing to wine degustation and sometimes even more. Numbers of brewhouses, thousands of beer brands, innumerable quantity, tastes and flavors are tough call for real beer enthusiasts.
How to wade through innumerable details of the beer industry and get all the tricks of the brewers?
Preparation. Anything requires preparation, so degustation is no exception. A few hours before the degustation you should refuse smoking, avoid fat and spicy food, no chewing-gum and tooth paste. The best way is to taste it with empty stomach. The room must be free of any other smells. Different brands of beer should be tasted at different air temperature. Some brands deliver their tastes and aroma when the beer a bit warm. Therefore, tasting should start with cold beer (not ice beer).
Before degustation, after the bottle is opened, beer as well as wine has to take the air for a few minutes.
While tasting a few brands in a row, the tester should start from light lager brands going to ale and stout rinsing the mouth before each beer type. Experts recommend tasting no more than five beer types during one degustation.
Appearance. Attractiveness of the drink is an important factor for enjoying. Whether the color standards of beer can make aesthetic pleasure is a subjective assessment, depending on your preference.
Aroma. Searching for the best accord of flavors a taster has to let the beer free its aroma shaking it in circles and inhaling its smell. How to draw a breath? There are a few points of view. Some experts recommend a number of short intakes of breath; however, others advise one deep inhale as it allows feeling deep aromatic notes. Opinions do not differ in one matter, to evaluate the flavor a taster has to do breaks in order to let the nose rest after each tasting.
Evaluation of flavor is relatively a subjective value, however, in general, the more interesting the flavor (notes of bourbon or fruit, coffee or fruit) the higher evaluation point. In a word, beer with a weak and expressionless aroma is bad.
Taste. The most interesting and fascinating part of any degustation is taste evaluation, its fullness and texture. There are few rules to be followed:
- Beer should be kept in the mouth in order to let the beer reach all the receptors;
- After a swallow a taster should draw a breath.
Each of these actions will allow tasting a beer better.
Aftertaste. The final chord, which reveals all the secrets, makes sensible hop bitterness, dry and warming alcoholic tone. High quality beer has a pleasant and long balanced aftertaste, complementing the taste and aroma.
Depending on chosen criteria the finalist will have the best composition and well-balanced flavor, taste and appearance.