Tweet It might not interest anyone, but I felt I would share with you my "method" when tasting a new beer. To explain you how I do it and why.
Before opening the bottle or ordering the beer I try to forget everything I might have heard or read about it, I also try to ignore as much as possible what the label says (easier with a beer on tap). The only information that at the moment is useful for me is the ABV or the gravity. This isn't easy to do, almost impossible I would say, but the aim is to be able to focus on the most important thing, what I will have in the glass.
At home, I pour the beer carefully, in a clean grass and try to do it at the proper temperature. Once served, I make a couple of photos and start taking notes.
Usually the first sip is rather big. I close my eyes and keep the beer in my mouth for some time trying to "listen" to it. I want to understand what the beer wants to tell me. Only then I might start reading the label, looking for the list of ingredients and any other bit of info that the brewer saw fit to include. Unless I can't understand the language on the label, I hardly ever look for information about the beer on the internet.
As I empty the glass and take notes, I try to imagine moments for the beer, what sort of foods I could pair it with, etc. (that is, of course, if I like the beer). If my wife is around, I always give her to taste and pay attention to what she has to say, this helps to see things from another perspective.
Never ever, nor before, nor during, nor after I look the beer up in RateBeer or BeerAdvocate, or any other similar web site. I think it is an utter waste of time. I will not like the beer more or less if my opinion about it agrees or not with that of people I don't know and likely will never know. And needless to say, I don't decide whether I'm going to taste a new beer based on the ratings of those sites, that, to me, is something bordering the stupid.
I do like discussing the beer with friends, people I know, readers of my blog or fellow bloggers. It is interesting to compare impressions with other people, but my opinion about the beer will always remain, at least then. It can change with time, though, beers change and so do tastes; a beer that I found wonderful me the first time, might not be so later, and viceversa.
But this is not dogma, and many times I drink a new beer without paying too much attention to what I'm drinking, just for the sake of drinking it.
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