A guide to sensory analysis of beer, cider, soft drinks, water and wine


A sensory action plan to help you get the most out of your tasting activities.

Sensory analysis requires care in planning and diligence in execution. In our experience there are eight steps to success in sensory panel management:

  • Set objectives. Decide on the objectives of your sensory analysis programme and get the commitment of your colleagues.
  • Set specifications. Draw up sensory specification for all of your products, defining both positive and negative flavour notes, together with their target intensities.
  • Identify potential. Select people with great potential as your tasters and panel leaders - enthusiastic, committed, and keen to be involved.
  • Select for aptitude. Screen those people you have selected using objective sensory tests to find those with the greatest aptitude for tasting.
  • Train systematically. Train your selected, screened tasters to recognize and scale sufficient flavour attributes to allow them to consistently discriminate among your own products, and between your own products and those of your competors.
  • Validate performance. Measure the performance of your tasters and benchmark them to comparable panels in blind taste tests.
  • Automate your tasting. Deploy your people in routine tasting with the maximum degree of automation - eliminate wasted effort whereever you can.
  • Encourage a bias for action. Maximize the actionability of your sensory reports to assure quality, improve your products and solve production problems faster.