We often see the following acronym on beeradvocate or ratebeer

ATMOS: Appearance, Smell, Taste, Mouthfeel, Overall

LSTFO: Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, Overall

Where do these acronyms come from? What is the original source of these acronyms?

  • I have never seen these. Will have to pay more attention I suppose.
    – wogsland
    Jan 3, 2016 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


It's sort of tough to chase down the origins of this stuff. It likely grew out of wine competition judging, which itself may have been based on the internal QA process of breweries and wineries. But that's conjecture, I can't find anything concrete.

The best information I've got is that the websites like BA and RateBeer use the criteria set down by the American Homebrewers' Association and the Beer Judge Certification Program (AHA/BJCP). The BJCP was formed in 1985, but their style descriptions were likely based on Michael Jackson's famous book: The World Guide To Beer, published in 1977. But realistically it just sort of makes sense...describe how it looks, how it smells, how it tastes, how fizzy/thick/thin it feels, and then any ephemeral qualities it has to give an impression of the beer. Pretty much covers all the bases.

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