Tasting Notes and Apps

July 1, 2013

I finally got on the smart phone bandwagon. In June, we have been to four beer/cider events, so I started looking into apps for tasting notes. As I see it, I could either haul around my tasting book all the time, or just take it to events. But what if I was out and about and come across something I wanted in my note book but didn’t have it with me? That’s where an app would be so much better: I always have my notes with me because I have my phone with me, but I wasn’t having to carry around an extra book to achieve this same thing.

For starters, there is nothing out there for cider, which makes me a little sad. I tried to use something like Google Docs to make a form based on the wine judging I’ve done, Blogger Cider Pages, and Andrew Lea’s Class and First Tier of Cider Flavour Descriptors. The result was that I still ended up grabbing my notebook because it was faster and easier to write in. This is kind of a shame, because my notes are not as through as they should be, so this really would have put me through the paces.

Moving on to beer, I ended up finding an app called Beeer (yes, there are three E’s in that name). There is a Lite version or a $0.99 version, which I got the full $0.99 version. It is pretty basic in that it has you enter the name, company, style, star rating, ABV, IBU, OG, TG, method of storage (bottle, can, draft, growler, cask), a beer wheel, allows you to take a photo, and then enter notes. I really liked the beer wheel, though I actually think for beer that it might actually be stopping me from thinking of other characteristics that might not be on the wheel. Maybe, because I’m a little slow with the keyboard, I wasn’t really taking additional notes. However, it is beer, which is not my strong suit, so this wheel did have me thinking about floral or citrus, etc, things I know I should be thinking about, but don’t actually do. This is actually the only app this company makes, which is unfortunate. I would really like it if they had one for wine or for cheese.

Which brings me to cheese, as two of the events I went to this past month were cheese tastings. The app I found was called Cheese Tasting Tracker (free version limits you to 25 entries). It is pretty simple in that it allows you to enter a name, producer, location, date, type, age, region, rating, and notes. Because I am a slow cell phone typer, and because I was liking the Beeer app with its beer tasting wheel, I abandoned this app in favor of a small tasting book called 33 Pieces of Cheese (The website lets you see exactly how the tasting pages are). Again, the tasting wheel is helping me develop my palette and maybe even expand my vocabulary on cheese, but I think some day it will hold me back.

I think there is a lot of potential for tasting apps out there that have yet to be tapped into. Too bad I don’t know more about programming to develop them!

What about you? Have you found some cider, cheese, beer, or wine tasting apps you like?

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