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The first Israeli beer news portal in Israel. Founded in 2008. All about beer, accessible and professional.

Beer stories
24/04/2023
70

Beer nose

Beer nose

In the beginning, there was odor. The most primitive microorganisms oriented themselves by smelling: by smell they found food or moved away from danger and poisons. And in our lives, we often subconsciously orient ourselves by smell. For example, good tasty food always smells good, odors of rot cause us a sense of disgust, we often feel the smell (not drugs) of a seriously ill person. In our daily life we often orient ourselves by smell without noticing it.

Smell and memory

The sensation of smell is directly connected to the hippocampus (the hippocampus) and the amygdala (our emotional center). All of this links scents to our memories. In this way, scent is able to evoke images from memory, including from its most intimate corners.

For a beer lover, for example, the smell of beer evokes memories of happy hours spent with friends over a mug of their favorite beverage. Odors also evoke a state of anticipation of an event. In this case, the waiting to meet friends and the anticipation of happy hours with them.

The smell of alcohol

If you possess a good sensitive nose, it is undoubtedly a gift from your parents. Julia Minella and Pamela Garcia of the Philadelphia Center for Sensation Research, did some research. They surveyed 150 children between the ages of 4 and 6 about their attitudes toward different odors. The children had to identify and separate samples with odors that were pleasant and unpleasant to them. At the same time, their parents were questioned about their drinking habits.

66% of the children of those whose parents consumed alcohol occasionally, for pleasure and yet had no alcohol dependence, identified the odor of alcohol as pleasant.

At the same time, 74% of the children whose parents had an alcohol addiction categorized alcohol as an unpleasant odor. Julia Minella concluded that children connect the experience of their parents’ alcohol consumption at home with their own emotional feelings.

The smell of alcohol

If you possess a good sensitive nose, it is undoubtedly a gift from your parents. Julia Minella and Pamela Garcia of the Philadelphia Center for Sensation Research, did some research. They surveyed 150 children between the ages of 4 and 6 about their attitudes toward different odors. The children had to identify and separate samples with odors that were pleasant and unpleasant to them. At the same time, their parents were questioned about their drinking habits.

66% of the children of those whose parents consumed alcohol occasionally, for pleasure and yet had no alcohol dependence, identified the odor of alcohol as pleasant.

At the same time, 74% of the children whose parents had an alcohol addiction categorized alcohol as an unpleasant odor. Julia Minella concluded that children connect the experience of their parents’ alcohol consumption at home with their own emotional feelings.

Our odor preferences are not constant

Preferences for different odors, even those acquired in early childhood, can change over time. Scent preferences can change quite dramatically. Time does not guarantee their constancy. For example, over time, even the most ardent opponents of ales will be able to enjoy the smell of a dark cream stout.

The very process of learning to enjoy it takes time and a certain physiological investment. The process of learning and distinguishing “bad” odors, is much more rapid than “good” odors. If you don’t like the smell of beer, the process of getting used to it and making it a “favorite” can take a long time.

A great beer nose

While evaluating a beer, we pay attention to various details. But the most sensitive and informative organ involved in this process is our nose. Unfortunately, our olfactory detectors very quickly become insensitive to the nuances of odors. That’s why, in beer evaluation, the first breaths are the most accurate.

Take 2-3 short breaths, swirl the beer glass and take a few more short breaths. As you swirl, the light components of the beer change from a liquid to a gas. These are what our nose picks up.

The aroma of beer can be defined as smells similar to malt, grain, and fermentation products. The most common aromas are those of sweet malt, caramel, roasted grain, or even chocolate. The bouquet of a beer usually consists of odors akin to those given by hops. Namely: floral, spicy, tangy, savory, etc. The various odors of beer are not only formed as a result of fermentation. They can be the result of improper handling of beer, such as storing it in the light or at high temperatures. Beer contaminated with various bacteria or oxidized by oxygen will also smell “bad”.

The only way to develop the skills of tasting, identifying the odor bouquets of beer, as well as its various shades, is to practice, practice and practice again. This is the only way to achieve the goal of having a real beer nose, if you have a certain aptitude and persistent hard training.

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