If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to taste it, does it leave any off flavors?
In my younger days I could tell a Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan, or Cuban cigar apart by taste. I smoked several cigars a week, and wrote down detailed tasting notes on each one. I had the terroir from each region dialed in on my palate and could pick it out reliably. Or maybe not, and maybe the label on the cigar set my expectations. Or maybe it was some combination of the two.
At the time I would have asserted that I had a supremely trained palate. And to be honest, I did spend years training and maintaining a mental flavor dictionary from a young age. But I have gotten a bit more humble as I've gotten older. I still can pick out familiar flavors pretty easily, but I have no doubts that confirmation bias plays a major role in tasting. It's funny that I often put a beer on tap that I think is kind of "meh" at first, but after a few weeks I come back to it and end up draining that keg before the others I have on tap. When I first keg a beer it certainly gets a bit more critical analysis, but after time passes it just gets consumed out of enjoyment. Sometimes you taste the process and recipe, but sometimes you just taste the beer. The latter is almost always better than the former.
So tl;dr one man's yeast off flavor is another's tasty beer. And sometimes it can be the same man.
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