Joint working groups of the European Brewery Convention, The American Society of Brewing Chemists and the Master Brewers’ Association of the Americas have developed a system of flavour terminology to meet the dual needs of Brewing
a) Enabling brewers to communicate effectively about flavour,
(b) Naming and defining each separately identifiable flavour note in beer.
The system comprises 44 terms to meet the first objective while 78 additional terms are suggested for the second. The system consists of 14 Classes. These are given general names to indicate the types of flavours which they contain.
Broadly speaking, the all terms are common familiar to most people, and together they form a vocabulary designed to fill most everyday needs.
The Flavour Wheel is used to facilitate the location of these terms within the system. The wheel is meant as a memory aid and not as a new classification system of tastes and odors.
The second tier of terms presented in the Beer Flavour Terminology Table, together with the reference standards, serve the purpose of naming and defining each separately identifiable flavor in the beer.
Most terms may be used to describe sensations of both odour and taste The mouthfeel effects, warming, and after-flavor.
A panel chairman putting together a taste test form may choose from the Table the terms which are appropriate for any given test, and he may add others (such as hedonic terms, eg preference) if this is required. For example, Brewers’ Taste uses 22 terms, which is currently considered optimal for our purposes; whilst for a consumer test, two or three terms may be too many.
On the other hand if, for example, a sulphury off-flavor develops, a form may be appropriate which has all the 18 terms under 0700 sulphury.