4-vinyl guaiacol

900 µg per capsule

Phenolic, like cloves or wheat beer”

Certified beer flavour standard used to train professional beer tasters to recognize and scale the intensity of phenolic character. 4-Vinyl guaiacol is a key flavour impact character in German-style wheat beers. It imparts a distinctive clove-like note, being produced by specially selected strains of brewing yeast. In the case of other beers it is generally an off-flavour originating from wild yeasts.

Food grade | free from sensory impurities | extensively tested | safe to smell and taste.

Flavour cards

Flavour standard information

Technical specification

The best way to detect 4-vinyl guaiacol in beer is as follows. Cover the beer with your hand and swirl the glass to release the aroma. Remove your hand and take a single long sniff. Repeat as necessary.
Amount of flavour per capsule
900 µg per capsule
The flavour threshold of 4-vinyl guaiacol in beer is 300 µg / l.
Low levels of 4-vinyl guaiacol are produced through a combination of enzymic and non-enzymic process during wort production. High levels of 4-vinyl guaiacol result from the use of speciality yeast strains or contamination of beer with wild yeasts.

4-Vinyl guaiacol is sometimes confused with

  • Isobutyraldehyde
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Vanillin
4-Vinyl guaiacol is a key flavour impact character in some ales and stouts. It is regarded as an off-flavour in lager beers when it is associated with a moderate degree of consumer rejection. 4-Vinyl guaiacol is a signature flavour character in German-style wheat beer, together with the ester isoamyl acetate.
CAS registry number
The CAS registry number of 4-vinyl guaiacol is 7786-61-0.
Other names
  • 4-vinyl-2-methoxyphenol
  • 4-ethenyl-2-methoxyphenol
  • 2-hydroxy-3-methoxystyrene
  • 4-hydroxy-3-methoxystyrene
  • 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyvinyl benzene
  • 2-methoxy-4-vinyl phenol
  • varamol
  • para-vinyl catechol-ortho-methyl ether
  • p-vinyl guaiacol
  • vinylguaiacol
  • para-vinyl guaiacol
4-Vinyl guaiacol (4-VG) is produced by yeasts which possess the phenyl acrylate decarboxylase (PAD) gene. The enzyme associated with this gene produces 4-VG from barley-derived ferulic acid.
Threshold distribution
Capsules per pot
Legal notices
This product is protected by the following trade marks and patents:
  • US Patent no. D679900
  • European Community Trade Mark
    Registration no. 009937574
  • European Community Trade Mark
    Registration no. 009856527
  • US Trade Mark Registration no. 4345057
  • US Trade Mark Registration no. 4345056
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Phenolic beer flavour standard - 4-vinyl guaiacol
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