Taste is a funny thing. If you could figure "Taste" out from a marketing sense, and apply it knowing that all folks would love a flavor, you might easily become the richest man in the world. I just saw a survey in which those who said they tasted and related to descriptions using food descriptors in their tobacco and
those who did not was split 50/50. I myself have always wanted to do a blind taste test to see if I could at least pick country of origin, or even specific familiar
I will say that since I've been smoking a pipe so much this past winter, that my cigar palate has been affected.
I went from an average of 3 cigars a day to maybe one or two a month since this past October.
This has had quite an impact on my palate's ability to taste my cigars the way I did before my pipe.
I'd been smoking 3 to 5 cigars a day for something like 30 years. This also affects your palate.
This all leads to saying that I believe our palates do develop, and that it's abilities to detect or differentiate do indeed change.
Not necessarily good or bad or better or worse, but that, in my case, certain flavors or characteristics became very easy to taste, while others became
more difficult. In my case, both due to heavy smoking.
There is a differance between the pipes and the cigars for me. My palate changed rapidly while smoking pipes so frequently.
(Before this, I probably smoked a pipe once or twice a week for about 3 years, prior.) Smoking 3 or 4 bowls a day, my ability to taste the nuances in pipe tobaccos increased exponentially over the course of a month or two.
In Latakia blends, I was able to go from basically tasting just Latakia, to being able to taste the differant component tobaccos, and how they were contributing
to the blend. My appreciation of VAs and VaPers grew tremendously. I can taste them so much better than I used to be able to.
For instance from VA being reticent and hard to taste anything to being able to taste all sorts of flavors and sweetness levels in the differant types.
VAs and VaPers are currently my favorite. Six months ago, I never would have thought this to be the case.
Techinique also affects how we taste our tobaccos, whether it be cigars or pipes. I have loved cigars that my buddies hated, and I often thought that it was
due to my sipping versus some of their more aggressive smoking habits getting the blend too hot and bringing out some serious nasties.
In the case of Virginia or VaPer pipe tobaccos, sipping is highly rewarding, keeping the tobacco cool, in essence "stoving" it as we smoke which reduces
tongue bite, and improves the flavor.
I do believe the brain also plays a role. I know for scientific fact that it compensates, balances, etc. in sight and sound.
The idea that it does the same with "Flavor" is not too big a stretch.
I do not mean a mental trick that we play on ourselves because it is a cuban cigar, "making" it taste wonderful (I admit it is possible, but I think less probable).
I've known too many folks, myself included, who were seriously let down smoking a cuban cigar. But then again, a lot of variables there too.
Storage, humidity content of the leaf when smoked, time of day, food eaten previously, fresh or fatigued palate, etc.
We also know that smoking can mask our ability to taste, such as the person who quits smoking, and exclaims "I can taste my food so much better since I quit
smoking". I think both Cigar and Pipe smoking are both masking flavors, but now tend to think that each one may be doing it differantly.
Is this the reason my cigars taste so much more differant than they did 6 months ago?
Let's not leave out the person who says a Cuban, or an Opus X is delicious only because they are afraid to say it tastes like crap, or that they can't taste a thing, etc. Or the blogger who is basically full of crap. I've seen that far too often. The coolness factor, acceptance factor, etc.
This also means that we have to revisit things occasionally. You may find that what you previously hated, you now love. And, It also
reinforces the idea that you cannot judge a brand or line of anything based on one smoke. This is why I find so many reviews useless.
This is also why I tell new smokers to take it easy buying mass qtys of a current favorite, like an ACID Blondie.
The variables are so many and so diverse, that again, I say that if you could figure out how to eliminate their effects, or how to create flavors that
EVERBODY loved, you would be tremendously rich.
Edited by MadMonk, 25 March 2012 - 09:59 AM.