At what point in a session, do you drink your "whale"?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by spelingchampeon, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. spelingchampeon

    spelingchampeon Zealot (563) Feb 21, 2016 Delaware
    Premium Trader

    [Disclaimer: In order to keep the title short, I used "whale". It's also meant to imply a beer that you received via trade, or gift...etc]

    You sit down on any given night, and are looking forward to drinking a few beers. In your refrigerator, is a beer that you are going to have for the 1st time..but you only have 1 of them. Do you make it your 1st beer of the evening, your last ..or at what point do you go for it?

    Typically, I'll have my "whale" as my 3rd beer. I like having a couple of beers (usually small ABV) to wake up my beer senses/taste buds, before hitting up my desired brew.

  2. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (1,740) Jun 6, 2010 Texas
    Premium Trader


    Unless I've had it before and I know it can be set up well by other beers, always in the leadoff spot.
  3. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (387) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Depends on what my palate wants first. Sometimes I want an ipa before a stout or vice versa. I enjoy going between the two styles as people enjoy sweet/salty. Idk if that's normal or not...
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  4. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,652) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania


    But, if it’s really a special beer then it is also the only beer of the evening.
  5. TheBrewsky

    TheBrewsky Crusader (768) Apr 23, 2017 California
    Premium Trader

    I think generally first as well. If it is really big and special, then it will be the only brew of the evening, especially if a BA Stout, since I’ll want to sip on it and savor it.
  6. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,033) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    The new one is first in line for me.
  7. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (835) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    new or rare 1st
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  8. NextBestThing

    NextBestThing Initiate (172) Apr 5, 2008 New York

    First and usually last.
  9. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,108) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Trader

    I have a whale-first policy because I'll have a "fresh palate" not influenced by another beer. Most days I only have one beer anyway, because most of the beers I like are high-ABV.
  10. CNoj012

    CNoj012 Meyvn (1,463) Dec 7, 2014 New York
    Premium Trader

    First. Because if it's new to me and I only have one then I'm going to review it, and I only like to do reviews with a clean palate.
  11. Brian29

    Brian29 Devotee (445) Nov 15, 2013 Ohio

    Also first,
    I wish to drink it with my tastebuds not yet dulled by alcohol.
    Ive made too many mistakes of drinking whales late in a session, dont remember them, and regret it.
  12. ZebulonXZogg

    ZebulonXZogg Defender (662) May 5, 2015 Illinois

    New and costly beers are first, I rarely conume two "new" beers in a sitting.
  13. Hayden34

    Hayden34 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2014 Georgia

    Always first for me. I need my palate to be "fresh".
  14. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (664) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Always first for reasons listed above. Then if I want more, always lower ABV stuff that I've probably had before.
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  15. CrimeDog

    CrimeDog Aspirant (201) Dec 31, 2015 New York

    Always first......considering it's a whale, I want to enjoy it in all its glory
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  16. nick_perry

    nick_perry Disciple (344) Mar 11, 2017 North Carolina

    Definitely 1st for me. That way my palate isn't influenced by other beers. Also, if I don't like it, I have something I know I like to turn to, and my session doesn't end on a bad note.
  17. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (673) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Most times these type of beers come out when there are 4-6 of us drinking. I would say its almost never first and most times near the middle end of the night. Why? not sure but it works and has for close to 20 years.

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  18. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Crusader (774) Jan 19, 2013 New Brunswick (Canada)

    I always drink the new whales first in a session for all the reasons mentioned above.
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  19. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,278) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Hoppy before malty. If your whale is a big malty beer, 1 hoppy beer max. before however so you aren't too buzzed, taste buds numbed or palate wrecked.

    Other recommendations:
    For me an empty stomach/ light food only prior to sampling to maximize enjoyment of beer (a full belly/large meal beforehand usually means my tastes for beer is drastically reduced, and I almost always rate beers unfairly low in this situation)
  20. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Poo-Bah (2,233) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    First, as others have said that's when my taste buds are cleanest.
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  21. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (341) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I don't drink whales, I just go down to the cellar and look at 'em sometimes. Precious...
  22. BladesOfBarley

    BladesOfBarley Initiate (112) Sep 29, 2014 Illinois

    Honestly, it changes from experience to experience. Sometime's it's first, middle, or last. Depends on what else I'm drinking and who I'm drinking with.
  23. BeerPugz

    BeerPugz Initiate (84) Dec 4, 2016 Wisconsin

    It depends on the lineup but usually it's first or within the first 3. I don't want palate fatigue by the time Moby Dick comes around. Sometimes Moby Dick gives me palate fatigue and the remaining beers are disappointing even if I had them before and know they are good/great.
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  24. edward_boumil

    edward_boumil Zealot (565) Jun 28, 2015 New York

    First. Usually what happens is I have that "whale", get the first glimpses of a "buzz", decide I'll have another of something less expensive, and then repeat with escalating buzz level.
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  25. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,891) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    My taste buds can't bat a full inning very often, so I put my "whale" in the lead off spot.
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  26. spongebob2

    spongebob2 Initiate (97) Feb 8, 2018 Tennessee

    First because I hate waiting for anything - no beer ageing here!
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  27. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (1,696) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    The whale or new beer first, whatever it may be.

    Unless, of course, it is that elusive session IPA you have been dying to try.
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  28. bella1956

    bella1956 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2018 Pennsylvania

    either first if your gonna be drinking a decent amount of beer or last if your only having a few
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  29. Robomunky

    Robomunky Initiate (184) May 14, 2015 Washington

    On a typical night, I save the big stuff for last. I don't stays drinking until dinner, so I don't want my food to pollute the good stuff. As for people saying they don't like drinking their big stuff when they have a buzz, I only get a buzz at most once a week and only then toward the end of my "whale".
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  30. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (423) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    When reading the thread title my immediate thought was 3rd. Surprised to see so many people saying first... I like to wake my buds up with a couple light-ish beers then pop that whale, behbeh. To each they owns dough.
  31. TheBricenator

    TheBricenator Initiate (32) Nov 13, 2007 Oregon

    Agree with spelingchampeon and ManBearPat in that I also tend to dig into my new-to-me/special/whale/etc. second or third in the lineup. I used to be a first-guy but capped a couple of beers a few years back and when I went in again with a light ABV beer under the belt (kolsch, amber, blonde, vienna) they were hitting my palate much stronger and I enjoyed them even better than I had as a first. To each their own - cheers!
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  32. Fox82791

    Fox82791 Devotee (453) Jun 20, 2014 New York

    Depends on the beer honestly, but if it's a really highly rated or flavorful beer, I'll either just drink that beer or put it somewhere in the middle, Drinking it first will probably ruin any of the other beers you had planned, and drinking it after a few other beers risks your palette being off/you being too buzzed to fully appreciate it.
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  33. Frosty11161

    Frosty11161 Aspirant (200) May 2, 2016 California

    I mean if it's on my own, first, as most beers are either high abv or 750ml where it's kinda hard to have multiples without having alcohol affect your senses for tasting (or worse, get too drunk to finish).

    That being said, I typically do them at shares, and say if 10 bottles are being opened, usually 3rd or 4th, or similar position if more/less bottles.
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  34. CHickman

    CHickman Poo-Bah (2,780) Jan 7, 2009 New York

    I find myself in the same situation at monthly shares: a warm up local IPA and then my crew of 3 guys will crack open the whale and then normally follow that with 1 or 2 other BA stouts that someone got in a trade or picked up unexpectedly. We used to worry about palate fatigue, but splitting a bomber 3 ways doesn't generally change our view. The ABV from these BA stouts have more of an impact for the later beers, but that's part of the fun.
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  35. nomisugitai

    nomisugitai Initiate (92) Mar 11, 2006 New Jersey

    Stout late or last. IPA early or first. I've started buying two beers when I find something in NYC to take home to NJ. Too many times drinking something that I can't get at home on the 1AM train straight out of the bottle or can.
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  36. JamFuel

    JamFuel Poo-Bah (2,901) Mar 26, 2009 Sweden

    I try to get the most desired beer, remembering what I learned many years ago about New Years: don’t save the great champagne for midnight, when you won’t be able to enjoy it properly. Start with the good stuff and finish off with an old favorite.
  37. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,459) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Usually it works out better if it's first, but we often have brought them out later in sessions. Usually it's when we are reminded of one or another beer by conversation. On a clean palate is always best way to appreciate a really tasty beer.
  38. Frank_Lopez

    Frank_Lopez Initiate (22) Aug 2, 2013 Maryland

    Always second, need to warm up the palate and I know the whale is going to be much better. Understand the clean palate in drinking it first, the issue is it ruins your taste buds for two and three.
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  39. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (131) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    For whatever reason I will roll them out during winter storms, after shoveling in the evening
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  40. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (499) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    First. I like my taste buds to be fresh if it's something I've never had before.
    I'd also much rather have a pipe to wake up my beer senses than a couple beers to go in there and punch them around before I get this first taste.