How to Evaluate Beer

Left Hand Team – Please use this as a visual guide to evaluate beer.
This is for internal use only – please do not share.


How to: Hold – Pick up your taster glass by pinching just above the beer level line and placing your pinkie finger underneath the stem-base.

Visual – Holding the glass of beer up to the light, observe the visual.




How To: Swirl the glass gently, away from your face. Slowly move it towards your nose, until you can smell the beer. As soon as you smell it, move the glass away. Repeat as necessary.


Use this method to detect: DMS, must, and other sulfurs.


Vapor Trail

How To: Swirl again. Move the glass past your nose in one swift movement. This is smelling just the vapor trail. Repeat as necessary.

Vapor Trail

Use this method to detect: Strong sulfurs (sulfidic and lightstruck), which quickly fatigue your senses.


Short Sniff / Long Sniff

How To: Swirl glass. Insert your nose into the glass, and take a short sniff for one second.
Repeat by swirling glass and inserting nose, and take a longer sniff for two seconds.

2 Sec Sniff

Use this method to detect: Acetic, cholorphenol, and diacetyl. The 1-2 sec sniff will give different levels to pick up these qualities.


How to: Cover the glass with your hand and create a seal. Swirl for 10 seconds. Uncover the glass, bury your nose, and take a long sniff for two seconds.

giphy (1)

Use this method to detect: Acetaldehyde, butyric, isovaleric, isoamyl acetate, and ethyl butyrate.



How to: Plug your nose, breathe in through your mouth, take a sip of beer, coat your mouth with beer, and swallow. Your ears may pop. Then, unplug your nose and breathe hard through your nostrils.

Retro nasal

Use this method to detect: Papery, metallic, and freshly cut grass.



How to: To evaluate taste, plug your nose, breathe in through your mouth, take a sip of beer, and coat your mouth while evaluating the tastes. Swallow. Your ears may pop. Then, without unplugging your nose, breathe through your mouth until you have finished evaluating taste.