Aromaster Beer Aromas 1

Today we’re doing a different exercise — we’re going to have some smell practice.

On many occassions when we taste beer we find ourselves frustrated with our inability to pick out tasting “notes” — you know, when someone says “I get a hint of grass on the nose”, or something like that.

Mostly I just taste malt, and hops; and if a beer is a stout, maybe chocolate, or coffee; and if it’s a good IPA maybe some varieties of citrus.

Sometimes I’ll just reach for something and make up something imaginative to have something interesting to say.

So we got an “aroma kit”:

It’s got twelve bottles of essential oils or something, smells that you might expect in beers.

Let’s stick our nose in four of them and see what we experience!


It’s lemon. I feel confident I can pick out lemon flavor. We use lemons most every day in cooking.



It’s tart. Like a green apple. Not like a red apple.

I feel silly about this exercise and wonder if I could pick out this flavor while sipping a beer.

I decide now is an opportunity to really embed this flavor in my brain.

I have Aimee wave the bottle under my nose several times while I say “green apple, green apple, green apple”.

Tart and sweet.

Green apple, green apple, green apple.


I say “pear” before opening this one and sticking it under Aimee’s face.

This time while I am chanting pears, I look at the card that accompanies the kit, with pictures of every aroma. I visualize “pear”, I say “pear”.

Aimee approaches with a bag of open coffee beans and says, “you want to clean your nose?”

I know she is asking if I want to stick my nose in the bag of coffee, as if that will cleanse my palate, and I am doubtful.

I stick my nose in the bag of coffee and inhale deeply.

I love the smell of roasted coffee beans.

Coffee also a good beer aroma.

I chant “coffee, coffee, coffee”.


I don’t know what kind of melon is in the picture. Honeydew?

I just chant “melon, melon, melon”.

It’s a rounder scent, doesn’t suggest acid like the lemon or pear.

Aimee is distracted with her laptop, a final-generation Intel MacBook that she has been supremely disappointed. Presently the mouse cursor is stuck.


I am somewhat dismayed at the collection of scents here, as I think I know these well. Though I might not think of “melon” while drinking beer, so having these primed in my brain seems like a worthwhile exercise.

Now to taste a beer.