Just wanted to follow up here since I was the first one to get completely disgusted at the idea of *tasting* the starter beer (can't really call it wort anymore). I made a Kolsch starter about 3 days ago, had it in the fridge for about 36 hours and just decanted. I poured myself a bit and gave it a taste.
1) Not good, but tastes eerily similar to something I've paid a buck for and came in a can with a blue ribbon.
2) Very little to no hop bitterness, flavor, or aroma.
OK, enough with the jokes. I used extra light DME (as I do with all starters) and it tasted like basically nothing. I did however get a fair bit of esters from the Kolsch yeast. I now see that this is an extremely valuable tasting tool, especially for yeasts such as Kolsch where its supposed to impart some flavor, but not overwhelming flavors (wheat, belgian yeasts) to really get an idea of exactly what the yeast is bringing to the party. Now that I know, I can see using this yeast in many more styles, just by imagining what this flavor goes with. I'm now very happy I ridiculed someone in this this thread for drinking their starter!