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  1. #1

    Foods that affect whisky flavor

    A couple of months ago, I started noticing that the whisky just seemed to have more pronounced wood, oak and, in some cases, bitterness. It was less noticeable in the scotch and in the Canadian whisky I've been drinking lately, but was really pronounced in the bourbon. I was surprised by the EC18 I opened up last month by the amount of wood & bitterness. And then I opened up a bottle of Dalmore 15, which was way too woody. So, I opened up a Lot B, and it was really woody and bitter, too, basically undrinkable. Realizing something was wrong, I started searching around on the internet for a cause. Apparently, there is something called "pine mouth" which results from eating pine nuts and causes certain foods, but not all, to taste bitter. I don't eat pine nuts, so I didn't think anything of it, until I realized, after a few more hours of searching, that pesto sauce contains pine nuts (who knew?). Recently, I've been eating pesto about once a week. After cutting out the pesto, my whisky taste buds seem to have returned to normal. Apparently the effect can last from two days to two weeks. I can't prove it was the pesto, but I'm not eating it again for a while. I suppose this could be one easy way of quitting drink. It was pretty awful.

    Anyone experience something similar, either with pine nuts or another food? Are there other foods shown to affect whisky flavor? According to John Hansell's Whisky 101, he says to stay away from spicy foods, including hot peppers and garlic, although neither of those has interfered with my drinking.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    I have noticed that what I'm eating does affect the taste of bourbon but haven't made any attempt to figure out which ones. I'm going to start taking notes on what I've eaten when I notice this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    Quote Originally Posted by politely View Post
    According to John Hansell's Whisky 101, he says to stay away from spicy foods, including hot peppers and garlic, although neither of those has interfered with my drinking.
    Maybe the spicy / garlicky foods numb the taste buds instead of altering the flavors? Personally, that has never seemed to interfere with my enjoyment, although I tend to drink ale with spicy / garlicky foods...
    Mark Edwards - Proof of Sanity Forged Upon Request

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    Crest pro-health toothpaste contains a different type of fluoride that can have the side effect of a metallic taste in the mouth. Definitely lowered my eating and drinking enjoyment until I figured out what it was and changed toothpaste.

  5. #5
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    Pine Nuts definitely destroy my enjoyment of Bourbon and Rye for the reasons you mentioned. It's interesting that I get the same bitterness from them as you. Brushing my teeth too soon before tasting doesn't help either.

    Mike Veech recommended Black Tea as a palate cleanser and it seems to work very well for me. Black Tea and scratchy crusty french bread almost always pushes the reset button on my tatsernator unit.

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    Pretty much anything you put in your mouth can affect how your whiskey tastes, for better or worse. The stronger and more discordant the flavor, the greater the negative effect. Garlic and raw onion are two of the worst. Even if you like those flavors, they just don't go well with whiskey. I'd never thought about pine nuts. Most nut flavors go pretty well with whiskey, but pine nuts are different. Sometimes I'll decide to have a glass of whiskey after I've brushed my teeth and that's usually a bad decision.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    Oh yeah, pine nuts can funk you out. Particularly when raw. Not as bad when toasted, or cooked in something.
    I can fully recommend the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda & Peroxide toothpastes for not affecting the palate. I can drink, or eat, anything right after brushing with it with no off tastes. The GBS Tasting Panel has been solicited for, and has in fact granted it, our official seal of approval.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  8. #8
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    We use Adolph's with spice and Lowery's on our steaks when we cook them and bourbon taste hot if I drink it too soon afterwards. Especially high rye bourbons.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  9. #9
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    Haggis.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  10. #10
    Disciple
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    Re: Foods that affect whisky flavor

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski View Post
    Haggis.
    Don't say that around Josh.

 

 

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