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Palate cleansing during a tasting?

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by profbobo, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Recently had a small tasting with my buddy, so we'd been drinking the same stuff all night and eating pretzels / crackers in between brews to cleanse the palate. We had room for another at the end, but the two Narwhals we opened we both agreed tasted smoky and, to be frank, like drinking bacon. I've had the beer a number of times before and never had that experience, and my friend's wife also couldn't taste or smell any smoke (she'd not been tasting with us).

    Knowing that we both had the same taste come out of two bottles of beer led me to believe it was because of the foods / particular beers we'd been tasting prior. Is there any food I should purchase before our next tasting to serve as a palate cleanser? I was thinking about sorbet (lemon?), but wondering if anyone else had suggestions. Thanks!
  2. tectactoe

    tectactoe Advocate (740) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    Sorbet is what many fancy restaurants will use. Japanese culture uses ginger. I typically use plain crackers or those little mini-bread slices. Just avoid using something with so much salt, that may have been the problem.
  3. Docrock

    Docrock Savant (435) Illinois Jan 21, 2012

    Low sodium saltines and cucumber slices have always worked for me. Just avoid too much salt as Tectactoe said.. Don't forget some room temp water
  4. Dennoman

    Dennoman Savant (485) Belgium Aug 20, 2011

    I always have a cheaper gueuze handy as a palate cleanser. Slices of green sour apple are supposed to work wonders.
  5. Derranged

    Derranged Advocate (500) New York Mar 7, 2010

    In all seriousness though, I feel my palate has been compromised because I do consume more sodium than I should.

    I also drink raw organic apple cider vinegar mixed with water for acid reflux. Could this affect my palate as well?
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    This is going to sound crazy, but someone in my tasting group had us try it and it worked (though it may just all be mental). He was probably just doing this to make us all look stupid, and I have no science to back this up.

    You know how they teach you to do the vampire when you sneeze, well do that same pose (with your nose in the crease of your arm) and just inhale through your nose a few time. The theory is because you are smelling a familiar scent (you) it will reset your smell which is important since smell is so vital to taste.

    Besides that I would just eat plain unsalted crackers or plain bread, and drink water in between beers.
  7. M1A2

    M1A2 Savant (425) Ohio Jan 15, 2012

    :confused: Never heard of that one might have to try it uh..................never!! JK;)
  8. JulianC

    JulianC Savant (335) Illinois Mar 9, 2012

    Every tasting I host there is always a Zombie Dust or Pliny kind of in the middle. When you're drinking heavy beers, throwing in some crisp hops always feels like a sorbet.
  9. tectactoe

    tectactoe Advocate (740) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    If you're passing out ZD and Pliny as palate cleansers at your tastings..... then I need to fucking come to your tastings.
  10. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (530) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    Our sensory department here uses unsalted Saltines (oxymoron, I know) and water. When we do a side-by-side we get instructions about time interval too, but it varies with the product. So it might be "eat a saltine, take two sips of water, wait three minutes" when we do comparison testing. And as Hanzo said - clear out the nose as well. Either do the vampire thing or just some deep cleansing breaths (in thru nose, out thru mouth) to clear and reset the nose. A lot of times here we are looking for a particular volatile note, so aroma is just as critical as taste.
  11. beergod1

    beergod1 Savant (410) Ohio May 2, 2009

    i was atj the beerfest in cleveland last year and we started out with a hoppin frog hop damn triple ipa...blew out our pallets. we tried crackers & cheese...water...nothing seemed to really work. but i tried Grapes, and that seemed to do the trick! so i have grapes on hand at every tasting i do..which is almost every week.
  12. JulianC

    JulianC Savant (335) Illinois Mar 9, 2012

    Always looking for new members :) We are spoiled on ZD over here, and one of us usually has a Pliny from Cali trades, it's almost a staple-extra in every box.
  13. azorie

    azorie Advocate (715) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    apples and cheese work well. and time. 3 minutes is not enough, I need at least 10 to reset.
    YMMV
  14. I use ammonia caps.
  15. I don't know about your palate, but it sure as hell will put hair on your chest
    CurtFromHershey likes this.
  16. If I'm doing a tasting just for fun with friends, I'll use high quality bread and a carafe of water. If I'm doing a more serious tasting, though, if I'm tasting homebrew from a barrel to see if it's ready, or doing a side-by-side comparison for more R&D purposes (pretty much all related to homebrewing), then I use unflavored, room temperature, sodium-free seltzer. You take a mouthful of it, sloth it around and spit it out like mouth-wash. It foams up and does a great job of scrubbing your mouth/tongue/teeth of any residual fat/sugar/whatever without adding the boozey burn and artificial flavors of actual mouth-wash.

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