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A feast for the eyes
By just looking at beer, you find out a whole lot about the specific beer style:
Blond, amber, brown, white, cherry-red, red-brown, etc.
Turbid or clear (lambic and white beer are not filtered at the end and so always remain
somewhat turbid).
Fine or coarse bubbles, remains stable or goes down quickly, may or may not stick to
the glass, has a distinctive colour depending on the beer style.
Rising bubbles (carbon dioxide gas), medium, strong or not at all sparkling.
A delight for the nose
Aromas are released by gently swirling the glass. That way, they can be immediately
inhaled deep into the nose. As with wine tasting, beer tasting has its own specific termi-
nology to designate the various scents of beers. Although beers scents can vary widely,
the rule of thumb is that a beer should smell natural if it is to instil confidence. Trained
beer noses can distinguish the following 3 main aroma groups:
Hop aromas and herbs and spices:
Volatile constituents of hops and herbs and spices.
Malt aromas:
Sweet caramel and honeyed scents.
Yeast aromas:
Fruity ester aromas (apple,pear, banana), phenolic aromas (4-vinylguaiacol (VG)
or smoked meat aromas) or sulphur components.
Back of the nose sensation
As you swallow, you can also gently draw the warmed-up aromas through the throat and
into the rear of the nose. This gives an extra taste sensation, especially in order to define
the finer scent components.
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