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Old 05-19-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
TheAleMaster
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Default Ordering Flavors in a Beer

I recently brewed a smoked vanilla porter and the vanilla flavor is tasted as the beer hits the tongue followed by the roasty/smokey flavor of the porter. I brewed the porter as normal, but added the vanilla into secondary.

Ideally, I would like to taste the roasty/smokey flavor first followed by a vanilla after taste. What, if anything, in the brewing process would affect the order in which flavors are tasted? (I'm specifically looking for info relating to adjuncts like my vanilla example, not hops.)

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Old 05-19-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
throwbookatface
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I think it's just your tongue doing its thing. I feel like smoky flavors are always the last to hit when drinking beer or whiskey, and the prominent or "different" sweet notes go first. Maybe because most people aren't used to flavors like vanilla/raspberry/jasmine in beer, so those get your attention first. More subtle flavors and combinations will come in later as your palate tires of the initial strong flavors. Maybe use a little less vanilla so it's not as prominent/numbing to your tongue?

It's a big reason I don't like Rogue's weirder brews, like their chocolate stout or maple/nut ale. All I taste on my palate is the initial "WHOA! Special ingredient!" Then it fades 2 sips later and the rest of the beer is relatively unmemorable.

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Old 05-20-2010, 02:57 PM   #3
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Hmm. Yeah - I guess now that I think about it, when I get a vanilla latte, I generally taste the vanilla first followed by the coffee. But I'm quite sure I've had a vanilla porter where the vanilla at least is there as an aftertaste, as well. I guess I'll keep tinkering.

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