Download the T.A.S.T.E.™ Test Scoresheets
The ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test™ score sheets were created using the methodology for assessment and evaluation of cheese that is used by the American Cheese Society’s Judging and Competition wherein judges evaluate both the “aesthetic” and “technical” characteristics of cheese. The T.A.S.T.E. Test score sheets break attributes up into the organoleptic groupings of appearance, aroma, texture, and flavor. During the T.A.S.T.E. Test you’ll be responsible for assessing and evaluating 12 different cheeses by selecting from among the attributes listed on the T.A.S.T.E. Test score sheets.
Attributes are words that we use to describe cheese (positively and/or negatively). Attributes are dependent on cheese type. There are many attributes that may be used to characterize cheese. Some apply broadly to all types of cheese while others may only apply to one or a few types of cheese. An attribute that expresses something positive about one type of cheese may be useful in expressing something negative for another type of cheese. Learn more about attributes in the ACS Lexicon & Glossary.
Scales Used to Further Characterize Attributes
Each attribute selected to describe a cheese will have a certain intensity. There are two different scales used on the T.A.S.T.E. Test score sheets to reflect the way in which intensity can be described for certain attributes for a given style of cheese- the Intensity Scale and the Just About Right Scale. For both of these scales, if a listed attribute or defect is not detectable in a given cheese, that attribute should be left blank.
The scale that utilizes only the letters A, B, or C and is known as an intensity scale. An attribute that exists where this type of scale is used is regarded as a defect. Your identification of the attribute/defect will result in your indicating whether the defect is slight (select “A”), definite (select “B”), or pronounced (select “C”).
Just About Right Scale
The scale that utilizes letters A, B, C, D, or E is known as a “just about right” scale. In this scale, an attribute that is judged as being “present at an intensity that is just about right” will be scored as “C” which makes sense because of its position in the middle of the group of five letters. From the middle of the scale, the intensity of the attribute can be characterized as increasingly deficient or excessive.
Pictured below is an example using both scales from a portion of the T.A.S.T.E. Test score sheet for Category B / Soft-ripened cheeses. The flavor of a Brie that has ‘acidity’ and ‘buttery’ character in balance, a little too much ‘mushroom(y)’ character, is lacking some ‘salt,’ has a pronounced ‘bitter’ quality and a slight characteristic of ‘feed’ would be represented as such: