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.