Different studies that determine the evolution of single sensory attributes in beer have been conducted during recent years. Although results of these works are valuable, brewers need to know which technique is the most appropriate for obtaining a real-time flavor profile of their products. Three different techniques that consider the evolution of flavors were used in the present study: time intensity (TI), temporal dominance of sensations (TDS) and drinking profile (DP). Four main flavor attributes of three commercial beers were evaluated to determine the main differences in the obtained results. TI technique provided useful information to study the kinetics of particular attributes, and showed the main differences in the beer profiles. However, TI proved very time consuming, and because of the differences in the panelists' “signatures,” data were difficult to process. TDS and DP provided useful information when used as complementary techniques, but DP was also very time consuming.
Results of the present study provide essential information to brewers, who try to carefully select the best raw materials for making a beer with a specific flavor intensity and length. Some of the most important attributes in beer flavor were studied in different beer styles, providing: (1) a model of the “real-time” drinking flavor profile that customers are experiencing; and (2) useful information about the utility of three different sensory methods.