They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Monday 7 November 2011

The Tongue

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.


  1. I guess it depends on what you're used to... sometimes people still stick to the paler beers as there's a perception that the hangover wont be so bad. I do find if I have something hugely hoppy, or a very strong rich stout then the next beer tastes a bit funny to begin with, but usually after a couple of mouthfuls it's where it should be again. It is refreshing to hear someone encouraging people to drink what they want and not be put into drinking certain styles as you wont appreciate anything else afterwards!

  2. Agreed, while it might be adviseable to have some sort of logic to tasting beers, there's no reason that dark colour indicates strong flavours that will dominate others. Guinness anyone?

  3. I think don't get pallet fatigue from specifically dark beers but do think that hoppy beers and strong beers can have some effect.

    I remember not liking Redemption Trinity the first time I tried it as I had just had a couple of pints of Brewdog ABD. But when I tried it again as the first beer of the night it was stunning.