Sensory Analysis Methods for Distilled Spirits Evaluation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sensory properties of distilled spirits such as whiskey often influence consumers’ buying behaviors. This chapter reviews different sensory descriptive analysis methods that have been utilized to characterize the flavor profiles of distilled spirits and discusses the challenges of utilizing discrimination test methods to study sensory fatiguing products such as high alcohol containing spirits. This chapter provides an up-to-date review of the published literature on the sensory test methods used for different types of distilled spirits. The A – Not A test method is explored in depth here because it has the advantage over other tests of evaluating only one product at a time, thereby it is less prone to memory burden. The A – Not A test method requires panelists to have sufficient familiarization with the reference sample. Methods for improving panelists performance in this test, including use of a familiarization phase or retasting of the reference sample during each test, are discussed. Results are presented where we implemented both methodologies in an A – Not A test to differentiate two confusable distilled spirits of different ages to help illustrate the utility of the method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACS Symposium Series
EditorsNick Flynn
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Nov 16 2023

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
ISSN (Print)0097-6156
ISSN (Electronic)1947-5918

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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