We've all probably heard of palate fatigue. I certainly get it after a few hours at a beer festival. What I've never understood is why some drinkers are adamant that you should start with lighter coloured beers and then move to darker ones in a session.
I'm really never bothered when I start with a pint of Stout and then move onto a Pale Ale, and I don't think it changes my opinion of taste of the latter beer. Of course there are exptions to this. I'm not going to have a bomber of 14% barrel aged Imperial Stout and then move onto a bottle of Lager, but I'm not talking about that here. I'm just talking about the regular cask beers you might find in your local, usually the same sort of strength, some light some dark. (if your lucky to have a range)
Some of us might like to think of our tastebuds as delicate things, which, give it a taste of something a little roasty and you'll be unable to pick out anything else for the evening. Hogwash. (...always wanted to say that) I believe my tastebuds are pretty hardcore and can manage a difference in flavour, be it light to dark or dark to light. I know there's plenty of people out there who will disagree with me, but once again it's about 'personal tastes' at the end of the day.
Next time you are having a pub session though, just think that if you want to hold off on that dark cask till the last pint, remember - it could have run out by that time.
Be brave, have a pint of Porter or Stout first. Drink what you want, when you want.