View Full Version : Beer as a palate cleanser/intermezzo
At the 2007 sampler, it appeared that many participants were using beer as palate cleanser/intermezzo. I found that a hoppy, carbonated beer, like Jeff's recent pale ale, restore my palate after sampling a variety of bourbons.
I noticed a few others using the same strategy.
Is there any documentation that beer is better than say oyster crackers, spring water or coffee beans to rebaseline the senses?
I do find beer does clean the palate well, the combination of the carbon dioxide, light ethanol and hops seems to refresh the palate (not to say other things wouldn't). There is also the rehydrating factor. If the beer is too hoppy or sweet and leaves lingering flavors in the mouth, it won't work as well. This is why most of the beers I brought were lighter (various wheat beers, the Ballantine XXX). A beer such as a heavy oatmeal stout or a sweet double India pale ale can be great on its own but can be too much to precede another shot of whiskey. I found the Jeff and Ed's Pale Ale excellent as a palate refresher. While the body was light as noted by Jeff, this did not leave too much malty extract in the mouth and left the palate ready for another whiskey. The bracing hops swept away most of the flavors of the previous drams. A win-win situation.
I think beer is a good plate cleaner. It is also a good warm-up to wake up the taste buds before drinking bourbon or any other nice spirit. Here in Sweden itís actually the common practice to have a beer before a tasting event.
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