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What makes flavor from beer last?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by TravisSaves, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. TravisSaves

    TravisSaves Disciple (70) New York Nov 11, 2008

    Often I'll have a great beer and the flavor lasts in my mouth 30 seconds after I've swallowed it. Sometimes I'll have a beer and it tastes great, but the flavor disappears the second I swallow it.

    What causes this? Is it the amount of a particular ingrediant? Is it the quality of a specific ingrediant?

    I've always been curious about this.

  2. TravisSaves

    TravisSaves Disciple (70) New York Nov 11, 2008

  3. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Champion (875) Michigan May 30, 2005 Subscriber

    This is just a guess but something in some of the beers that you drink excite your taste buds so much that it takes them a while to settle back to normal, and sometimes that experience just doesn't happen with other beers. Have you noticed the hoppy beers tend to have this affect? Or malt-forward beers? Or sours?
  4. dawatts

    dawatts Savant (335) Massachusetts Dec 27, 2006

    I assume its the oils from the hops. Take a few to mix with the saliva and break down. Just a guess.
  5. TravisSaves

    TravisSaves Disciple (70) New York Nov 11, 2008

    Here's an example of what I mean: I recently had Founders "Bolt Cutter" barleywine. I thought the beer was great and I enjoyed the fact that the flavor stayed in my mouth for quite some time after tasting it. I then had Heartland Brewery's "Full Moon Barleywine" and the first second of the sip was great but after that first second, the flavor instantly disappeared. I've even had some real poor IPA's where the same thing happens, so it's not necessarily only with a particular style. Keep in mind this doesn't happen often because I know what beers to stay away from these days, but this is something that I've always wondered about.
  6. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,205) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    It’s the interaction of certain ingredients with the way your taste buds work. Some flavoring agents come and go relatively quickly as the taste buds process them and quickly recover. Others hit the taste buds hard, leave them "stunned and reeling from the impact."

    Not all taste buds are created equal and not all flavoring agents are created equal. This is what makes flavors interesting and different from each other.

    Edit: How do you know which? By direct experience and by reading the reviews provided by others who seem to pick up the same flavors, etc. that you do. Sometimes it’s the amount of a particular ingredient that makes a difference and sometimes it’s the "quality."
  7. Overlord

    Overlord Advocate (665) California Jun 28, 2007

    I mean, strength of flavor and length of flavor-lingerment-on-le-tongue is basically boiled down to the same thing: flavor molecules. Water is HORRID for concentrating flavor molecules. You need either a nice thick high gravity base, or some ingredient that's unusual in being able to pack flavor molecules into a fairly water substance (like a sour, for example).

    That's pretty much the science behind it. The art is in making it taste good.
    UCLABrewN84 likes this.