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Are smokers less sensitive to peated whisky?

 
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RuyLopez
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:39 pm    Post subject: Are smokers less sensitive to peated whisky? Reply with quote

5 or 6 years ago when I first tried Laphroaig I was hit pretty hard by the peatiness like most people, however I recently started drinking whisky again and was surprised by how differently my palate reacted to the Laphroaig, I was sort of expecting a very smoky flavour but really didn't get any. If I did a blind taste-test the thought of peat or smokiness probably wouldn't even come to mind, although I do enjoy the flavours. Since trying Laphroaig for the first time I have also started smoking cigars (not cigarettes) so I am wondering if perhaps there is a connection. Any thoughts on this?
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Jimny14
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There may be a couple of things going on here. Pattern recognition with taste is important and things we haven't tasted before can be very strong in flavour the first time. After a few tastes over time we recognise that flavour as something we've had before and recognise it as safe (you can still have violent taste reactions to dangerous things like off milk, mould etc).
Secondly smoking reduces the tongues sensitivity to all tastes. Many people don't recognise the decline but often report flavour coming back after stopping smoking.
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ralfy legend
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is a link but some people are better than others to picking up tastes so even if you are a smoker if your still very good then you still could be better than others who don’t smoke, I’ve got a friend who smokes and he totally hates smoky whiskies, also I’m shocked at times the notes he isn’t getting when it’s plain that they are there,,
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RuyLopez
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimny14 wrote:
There may be a couple of things going on here. Pattern recognition with taste is important and things we haven't tasted before can be very strong in flavour the first time. After a few tastes over time we recognise that flavour as something we've had before and recognise it as safe (you can still have violent taste reactions to dangerous things like off milk, mould etc).
Secondly smoking reduces the tongues sensitivity to all tastes. Many people don't recognise the decline but often report flavour coming back after stopping smoking.


Your first point may well be correct, I did actually buy and drink a bottle of Laphroaig Select about a year ago (not nearly as good as the 10y/o but great value when on offer) so I think I may have just become accustomed to peat. I also tried Bowmore the other day and didn't really pick up on much peat there either, only that it tasted very savoury (and more enjoyable) compared to the Glenfiddich I also had on the same evening.
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Canuck 01
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will start by prefacing that I'm a relatively new scotch drinker (had to find an indoor hobbie in the world of covid) and even newer to smoky, peated scotches.
The comment about pattern recognition and accustomizing to tastes is interesting.
By first dram of Arbeg 10 gave me a big hit of the earthy peat, but I was disappointed that I didn't really get the smoke. I don't know how I could have missed the smoke, because now I find it very powerful (and exceptional!), but it seems for me it sometimes takes a few drams over a bit of time to start really picking out some of the tastes.
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