Elves, and other immortal or even extremely long-lived races, have developed senses for magic that are honed from centuries of exposure and use. Tuathans, at least, are able to ascribe flavors to magic that aid in determining its source. Tuathan elves, if they have studied their spellcraft, can often sense the type of magic through the flavors they observe. It is deemed that mastery of magic involves understanding these flavors, and working with them.
Wizardry carries with it a flavor of linen and crystal, stemming from the in depth study and purity of knowledge required to perform it. One’s mind must be edged, like crystal, and the fine weave of the linen of spellbooks imparts a textured flavor to the magics.
Sorcery has a much earthier flavor of the coppery blood and spice, denoting a wild talent that has cropped up inside of a person. These powers stem from the bloodline without study, giving a chaotic but natural taste. The magic of Bards, which is akin to sorcery in that it is sourced from within, also contains the taste of spice but also of silk for the music and smoothness of tongue that is required in their magics.
In the realm of divine magics, clerical power of priests and paladins also share similarities. Clerical powers taste of cotton and silver, whereas the Paladin’s silvery flavor is instead mingled with salt.
Druids and rangers use magic with a distinct soil and rainstorm mixture of flavors – surprisingly strong to taste, and hard to discern the two. Druidic soil has a mossy flavor, whereas rangers have a sandier tone. A difficulty with druidic powers is, should one be in the woods after a thunderstorm, it would be hard indeed to sense this magic unless closely acquainted with the area of the forest.
There are magical talents within other professions, but since they are less prevalent, the flavors are also less known. Rogueish magics or magical abilities carry with them a flavor of dust that is nigh imperceptible to the human palate. Elves may notice it, but again – it would be difficult to separate dust of magic from actual dust. Thus even the flavor of rogue magical talents hides with them.
Strong magics of a powerful school may impart a noticable effect as well. For example, necromancy tastes like rotting, but healing or conjuration/healing tastes like camphor. Enchantment adds sweetness. Additionally, elemental effects lend an additional savory hint – fire adds smokiness, water or ice adds a spiky freshness, like mint or eucalyptus. Elemental earth adds a umami depth that is almost grass-like, and wind magics add a coolness to the tongue when one inhales. Other schools of magic do not appear to have noticable flavors.