If I want to fully appreciate what a beer is offering, how do I properly taste the beer to reveal all the nuances in the aroma, flavor and aftertaste?

  • 2
    I disagree with the close votes that the question is broad - there are only a few generally accepted ways of sampling a beer.
    – mdma
    Jan 28, 2014 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


Beer Advocate's Guide is a decent one. The abridged version is:

  1. Look at the beer. How's the color and head?
  2. Swirl it a little bit to pull out the aroma
  3. Smell it. Swirl again if need be. I recommend taking a 20 second break after smelling, then smelling again, since if you smell too long, your nose gets used to it and it becomes harder to pick up the notes.
  4. Sip it. Don't swallow immediately, but keep it on your tongue for a moment. Breath out with it still in your mouth and pay attention to the resulting smell (unless you just ate a bunch of garlic before the beer).
  5. Taste again as the beer warms up a bit.
  • Re: number 3, smelling the back of one's hand is a common method of "cleansing" the olfactory palette to avoid fatigue. It works surprisingly well, IMO! Feb 4, 2014 at 14:13

According to Oz Clarke, you should burp the beer (to judge the hops).

See this clip from Oz & James Drink to Britain (episode 1, starting at about 2:28):

  • Totally true. Though this may be frowned upon in many situations.
    – darwhen
    Jan 27, 2014 at 13:50
  • Totally agree - never really tried it myself, but the question doesn't really set a context. That said, Fishtoaster's answer is excellent.
    – JDB
    Jan 27, 2014 at 14:56

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