Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: In The Light
Testing? Reporting? Reviewing?
Readers of this glossary will need to know that experienced tokers notes include a three-part sequence of events. When analyzed, the remarks break down into perceptions about:
c) Taste (first in the "mouth" or "expansion", followed "exhale")
Using these perceptions, the taster attempts to communicate their feelings about the herb under review to others by descriptive words or phrases. The following glossary is an attempt to categorize those words/phrases. Additions, edits and comments are encouraged…
AFTERTASTE - Term used to describe the taste left in the mouth after exhaling the herb. Both character and length of the aftertaste are part of the total evaluation. May be harsh, hot, soft and lingering, short, smooth, tannic, or nonexistent.
AMMONIA - Refers to the pungent odor and flavors which can be attractive in buds. Can also have negative connotations depending on context (eg: moldy herb, from damp buds etc).
APPLEY - Refers to smell or aroma of a herb, usually carrying additional modifiers. "Ripe apples" describes a full, fruity, clean smell. "Fresh apples" does the same for some types. "Green apple", however, is almost always reserved for Sour strains.
AROMA - The intensity and character of the aroma can be assessed with nearly any descriptive adjective. (eg: from "appley" to "raisiny", "fresh" to "tired", etc.). Usually refers to the particular smell of the variety. The word "bouquet" is usually restricted to describing the aroma of a cured herb.
ASTRINGENT - Descriptive of herbs that have a rough, puckery taste.
ATTRACTIVE - The herb taster liked it anyway. A veiled criticism of expensive bud, a compliment for others.
BACKBONE - Refers to big, full-bodied herbs with an evident kick or expansion to it.
BERRYLIKE - Equates with the ripe, sweet, fruity quality of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and cherries. The aroma and taste are often partly described with this adjective.
BITTER - One of the four basic tastes. Some herbs have a distinct bitter edge to their flavor. Sweet herbs may have an enhanced bitter component that complements the other flavors making for a successful overall taste balance.
BODY - The effect on the taster's palate. Often described as "full", "meaty" or "weighty".
BODY ODOR - Describes aroma and flavor reminiscent of human body odor. A salty smell.
BOUQUET - Near synonym for "aroma". Term generally restricted to description of odors from cured buds.
BUTTERY - Describes taste sensation found in some herbs.
CANDY - Refers to the perfumed fresh fruit aromas and flavors which can be attractive in buds. Many consider it a desirable characteristic in longer-cured herbs.
CEDAR - The taste or aroma of freshly sawn ceder wood.
CITRUSY - Describes aroma and flavor reminiscent of citrus fruits.
COMPLEX - Almost a synonym for "breed". Possesses that elusive quality where many layers of flavor separate a great bud from a very good one. Balance combines all flavor and taste components in almost miraculous harmony.
CREAMY - Refers to "silk-like" taste component of herbs as opposed to the "tart/crisp" taste component. Almost a synonym for "buttery". Opposite of "crisp".
DEPTH, DEEP - Refers to a premium bud that demands more attention, it fills the mouth with a developing flavor, there are subtle layers of flavor that go "deep."
DIESELY - Aroma constituent reminiscent of diesel/petrol/gasoline engine fumes.
DIRTY - Describes any of the undesirable odors that can be present. A characteristic imparted various processes performed incorrectly.
EARTHY - Covers situations where a "mother-earth" component is present. Earth is soil-dirt, but an earthy bud is not dirty as in "DIRTY" above. The term appears to be applicable to herb thought, by some, to be fed from certain soils obtained from land previously used for growing vegetables containing components which "marked" the soil in some way.
EASY - Undemanding but pleasant, doesn't require good taste, just tastes good.
ELEGANT - What to say when there is great balance and grace in the bud, but you can't quite find apt words of description.
EXPANSION - A good way to measure the fullness, body and content of herb. High expansion generally accompanies high quality bud.
FAT - Fills the mouth in a positive manner. The bud "feels" and tastes a little obvious and often lacks elegance but is prized by connoisseurs of sweet herbs.
FINISH - As in "this herb has a (whatever) finish to it".
FLAT - Opposite of "full-bodied". Usually indicates very low expansion and lacking flavor.
FLINTY - Synonym for "stoney". Derived from French phrase "gout de pierre a fusil", literally a smoky, whiff of gunflint, almost acrid taste. These terms are presumably metaphorical approximations based on the flavor sensations allegedly present in herbs.
FLORAL/FLOWERY - Suggests the aroma or taste, usually aroma, of flowers in herb. "Floral" usually employed as an adjective without modifier to describe attributes of herbal aromas.
FOXY - Common descriptive word used to note the presence of a unique musky or grapey character.
FRUITY - A fruity bud has an "appley", "berrylike" or herbaceous character. "Fruitiness" usually incorporates the detection of a little extra sweetness as is found in really fresh grapes or berries.
FULL-BODIED - As opposed to "thin" or "thin-bodied". Fills the mouth, the herb has "weight on the tongue".
FUNKY - Defies precise definition. Appears to be a 1970's cannabis culture derived word sometimes used by North American west coast growers and reviewers when describing vegetal/yeasty/yeastlike aromas so complex that individual identification is difficult. Can have positive or negative connotations depending on context.
GAMEY/GAMELIKE - Descriptive term for one of the flavors/aromas considered very particular. Reminiscent of taste and flavor associated with cooked wild duck and other "gamey" meats. Considered a major flaw when flavor is overly-pronounced.
GNARLY - Perceived as rough-edged, very harsh. Applies to uncured herb.
GRAPEFRUITY - Grapefruit flavours are characteristic of many cool-climate herbs.
GRAPEY - Content has simple flavors and aromas reminiscent of a certain type of table grape. Used by some as adjective alternate for "foxy".
GRASSY - Slightly vegetal-tasting undertone often part of the overall character uncured bud. European tasters sometimes use the word "gooseberry" to describe this flavor. In minute presence it can enhance flavors. As it becomes more dominant the more it loses appeal leading to unattractiveness.
GREEN - Strictly applied refers to the taste of herbs undergrown and undercured. More loosely used it refers to some bud possessing the greenish color tint indicating youth.
HARD - A sensation of dryness in the mouth, a degree of puckerness.
HARSH - Very astringent herb, often have this rough, rustic taste characteristic. May become more tolerable with aging but also may not be worth the wait.
HASHY - Adjective used in description of herb with taste and aroma of hash.
HAZY - Used to describe the effect of the herb's high. If the haziness is intense enough to cause loss of clarity it may indicate extreme potency.
HEARTY - Most often applied in the description of full quantity and warm qualitity. Also applies a sturdy plant.
HERBACEOUS - Adjective used in description of herb with taste and aroma of herbs, (usually undefined).
JAMMY - Refers to the natural berrylike taste of this grape.
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