Tasting/Rating Tips and Preferences

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beaulabauve, Sep 9, 2019.

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  1. beaulabauve

    beaulabauve Aug 5, 2011 Louisiana

    What does everyone do to enhance their drinking experience? Are you using specific glassware? Are you making sure you serve at a particular temperature? Is your wife rubbing your feet? I've recently been monitoring my serving temperatures, and wow, it really makes a difference! I almost want to go back and rate my beers all over again.
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  2. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Mar 28, 2009 California

    Good friends to share the experience. Whether that’s at a brewery, bringing beers to share, throwing corn hole etc.
  3. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 May 30, 2005 Michigan

    OP, I'm with you. The temp of the beer is the key factor. I'll also drink big stouts in a snifter, but that's it as fast as special glassware. All else goes into a shaker pint.

    Edit: Sometimes I make it a point to eat a bite of some food and wash it down with a drink of beer, especially bread. That really causes a burst of beer flavor with many foods.
  4. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Thermal cognizance can be important, as is the evolving process, for the openness and presentation at the given altitude: serving at an objectionable condition, and riding it for a liberating assessment
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  5. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I like to use specific glasses for different beers, and I make sure that they're "beer clean". Then I make sure that I get a really nice head on it. That's sometimes not possible, but when it is the appearance and lacing make a big difference to me. I also take the beer out of the fridge for a few minutes before I open to let it warm up a little, but I don't measure the temperature.
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  6. Amendm

    Amendm Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    I use mugs all the time for consistency, each beer gets reviewed under the same conditions.
    Normally I consume a 6-4 pack so I can judge the strength of pour needed to reach a finger sized head.

    Temperature is extremely important, not only should beer be drunk at above typical refrigerator temperature, all beers should warm well.

    I update reviews if I revisit one I haven't had in a while or there has been a change of some kind.
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  7. dcotom

    dcotom Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I always use scrupulously-clean #proper glassware. If there should happen to be any unsightly bubbles clinging to the inside of the glass, I give the glass a couple of sharp raps on the tabletop to dislodge them before taking my WBAYDN photo for the world to see. Temperature-wise, I like stouts and porters (yeah, I know, already) at just above cellar temperature, and most everything else at around 40-45°F.

    If it's an AAL, I'll dunk it into a tank of liquid nitrogen. That usually settles the molecules enough that I don't have to smell it or taste it.
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  8. beaulabauve

    beaulabauve Aug 5, 2011 Louisiana

    How do you clean your glasswear?
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  9. nc41

    nc41 Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I was drinking my Stone IPA out of my Belgian glass, so glass for me isn’t a big deal, but temperature is certainly a big deal for me.
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  10. JrGtr

    JrGtr Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I don't do a lot of rating, but when I do, it's generally either from the fridge or my cellar, in a more-or-less style specific glass - Belgian and stouts in tulips, most others in either nonic or curved (I don't know the exact name for the style) pints.
    More important to me is rating by style. So I'll read the BJC write ups for that style and try to rate to what they're going for and "supposed" to be going for. The couple times I've rated styles I don't care for (rauchbiers) I'll see what they go for and rate to that, rather than give a great example of the style a low rating because I don't like that style.
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  11. officerbill

    officerbill Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    I'll use “proper” glassware depending upon the beer and serving size. I have .5l pilsner & weißen glasses that I'll use with .5l/pint cans & bottles, a tulip/snifter hybrid for Scotch ales & tripels/quads, and a flute for lambics. Stouts go into the tulip or a goblet depending upon the beer. Pretty much everything else goes into a 16oz Jack's Abbey glass.
    As far as temperature is concerned, regular beers are at fridge temperature while aromatic and higher ABV beers are usually just cool.
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  12. bubseymour

    bubseymour Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Anyone been to a person's house where the glass they give you looks clean but the glass smells "fishy"? I have and it just plain sucks. Talk about a major turnoff when trying to drink a good beer. I went and got another glass from their cabinet scrubbed in the sink with my hand and soapy water (rinsed of course) and poured my beer into the clean glass. I just flat out told him the glassed smelled bad.
  13. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    A cold water rinse, two hot water rinses, another cold rinse, wipe/dry by hand. No soap ever touches my beer glasses.
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  14. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'm an outlier, I like all beverages cold. The tactile aspect of a 45-50 degree stout makes me want a margarita. I only drink from shakers if that's all the brewery uses. I like tulips and "Perfect Pint" glasses. I love stemware. The idea of stemware is that you hold it by the stem, and your body heat doesn't warm up the beverage.
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  15. nc41

    nc41 Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Completely agree, I like most of my beers colder than cold, the only exception is for Stouts. Stouts for me are like red wine, cool is better, they get harsh if too cold.

    Let me add, I love my beer glasses, I buy stuff I certainly don’t need, but I just love a cool looking glass.
    #15 nc41, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  16. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    If I'm starting with a new glass I'll run it through the dishwasher first, after which I'll give it the salt and acid treatment that I'm about to get to. After that it simply gets rinsed with hot water immediately after use. Over time, however, that won't work as there will be build up. That's time for the salt & acid: I add a good amount of table salt, maybe 3 Tbsp. and hot water to cover it. Then I roll the glass around and let that salt solution coat the entire inside of the glass, and the outer lip. I let it sit, and then rinse it with hot water, making sure that I get that salt along the outside lip of the glass as well. Then I do the same with distilled white vinegar, rinse it, and let it air dry. For my main glass I probably do that once a month.
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  17. seakayak

    seakayak May 20, 2007 Massachusetts

    Sometimes I pour a beer into two or three distinctly different-shaped glasses just to see how much it affects the smell and taste. The difference is substantial with certain beers (e.g., pumpkin, gose, porter).

    You can improve on the standard glassware recommendations by trying this.
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  18. lastmango

    lastmango Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    No fishy smells but I have been served beer in a jelly jar turned glass and one that was joke glass embossed with an animal that peed beer out of the glass. :slight_frown:
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  19. lastmango

    lastmango Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I enjoy tasting beers while my wife rubs my shoulders and feeding me cheese and crackers. NOT! :wink: Although this may be nice, it would distract. I focus on the temperature and making sure I have a very clean glass. I've learned over the years that quality beer loses taste when it is too cold. Bad beer has to be super cold . . . that I learned as a young man drinking warm Natty Bohs and Pabst at the beach after we spent the night camping and had no ice.
  20. dbl_delta

    dbl_delta Sep 22, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Back in the day - when my beer universe consisted of PBR - the optimal temperature was when it turned to slush when you popped the can. You had to drink 'em fast, but with enough practice....
    Then I discovered craft beers, and my consumption dropped precipitously (but oddly enough the total beer budget stayed about the same).
    After a decade of rather expensive experimentation, AALs rarely intrude on my current regimen - and temperature or glassware or anything else doesn't make much difference.. I've found that IPAs taste better cold, and Stouts taste better warmish.
    And I'm sorry but for me glassware is irrelevant - if you drink it fast (or slow) enough, what you're drinking it out OF doesn't really matter (yes, as long as it's clean).
    And you can use the money you saved on glassware to buy beer.
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  21. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    Same routine for me. I rinse out the glass as the water warms then let the hot water clean it for a min and wipe dry with clean towel, done. Been doing this way for 2 years zero regrets.
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  22. bbtkd

    bbtkd Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
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    I do the following when reviewing;
    • Whenever possible, use a cup or glass and avoid drinking from the container or off the table
    • Ensure the glass is clean for each beer, hand washed, well rinsed, and wiped
    • I use the same glass style (and mostly the same exact glass) for nearly every review; a Belgian beer glass, aka snulip
    • Ensure the beer is the proper temperature. For darker beers, I don't review it cold, I sample it cold then let it warm 10 minutes, and then drink it over a period of an hour or so. As others mentioned, warming can change the taste, often improving it - though have had the opposite happen
    • Don't review when you have a cold
    • Don't review when already drunk. Unless you feel like it
    • If it's not a style you generally prefer, try to keep an open mind and avoid letting any bias impact the score. Since that's impossible, at least explain in the review when it's not your favorite style so others can disregard if they want
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