Honey Tasting

The Rise of Honey Tasting
As a producer of a podcast one is always looking for topics and one such topic that I covered on a handful of occasions is honey tasting.  Honey Tasting has seen an upswing with the 2010s and I can’t help but think that it has something to do with our foody culture in the late 10s.  The notion of artisanal has replaced ‘gourmet’ and it seems to be applied to demonstrate the quality and goodness in natural good-for-you food products including Honey.  The characteristics of honey lend themselves to descriptors that closely parallel wine and it is no surprise that wine tasting wheels have been pretty easy to translate to honey tasting wheels.

Association Honey Tastings
In our association we’ve been doing honey tastings at our meetings to teach our members how it works.  I presented a short powerpoint and produced some supporting materials for the purpose of the discussion.  One of the fun things we made is a honey tasting ‘score sheet’.  I am a fan of checkboxes that let you fill things out by using a highlighter or marker.   The form is a paper based translation of the tasting wheel but is easier to use in my opinion.

Below you’ll see the highlights of what we covered and what we said.   Note: Some of the images were clipped from a honey tasting YouTube How to video.  To see that video click here.  In addition to the how to images provided below I have provided a link to a Microsoft Word version of the tasting form in case you wanted to download it for your own use or to get a pad made up.  If you come up with additional descriptors let us know.  One that we thought of to add was ‘wicker basket’.

Honey Tasting How To Opening Slide
A snapshot of a supporting poster we created for the honey tasting meeting. It is based on one from the American Honey Tasting Association – see the links in the bottom of the post. Sorry, the poster is not available as it was only a one time use and given it was based off someone else’s design we don’t want to pass it off as our own.
This is a representative shot of one of the many honey tasting wheels available for sale. This one happens to be the excellent one from UC Davis. See their website to purchase one if that is of interest.
I snipped this image from a honey tasting video found on youtube because it was cool how they presented the honey for tasting. Use of wine glasses is a neat approach if you want to do blind taste tests and it gives it a bit of an elegant look.
This also was presented as part of the same video (From Solstice Honey) and they did a great job at presenting their products and setting up a tasting. Consider checking out their video for a formal way to present honey tasting for a company that is showing their wares. Theirs seemed to be an outstanding effort and ‘how to’ to the way to do host a tasting.

Honey Tasting at Home
Wherever we go we buy some honey.  It is just something we have started to do.  Over the holiday break my son Danny and I did a honey tasting and I since Santa had recently brought me a camera microphone that I wanted to try out, it seemed the perfect combination.  I was pretty happy as to how the sound came out and we had a fun time tasting.  I know the video is long but we saved some of the best for last.  Of course it’s YouTube so you can skip to the end if you wish. I think you can tell we had a lot of fun and it might be a fun thing to consider doing with your extended family or friends ’cause who doesn’t like honey???

Honey Tasting Tracking Sheets for Download

Honey Tasting Flavor Guide – Word Version
Honey Tasting Flavor Guide – PDF Version

Note: Right click and choose save to save to your computer.


Additional Resources
Bee Culture Article on Honey Tasting
American Honey Tasting Society
Solstice Honey Tasting Party Video