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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If alcohol no longer gave you a buzz or got you drunk, would you still drink it just for the taste?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) August 31st, 2014

In other words, what stimulation you receive from beer, wine, whisky, etc. lost its effects, it affected you no different than distilled water, would you drink it anyway just for the taste alone?

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33 Answers

jca's avatar

I don’t drink it much now and I would definitely not drink it just for the taste.

Mimishu1995's avatar

No. The reason why I don’t drink is because I can’t get past the taste.

jca's avatar

Plus alcohol is full of calories. Who needs that?

flutherother's avatar

I think I might drink it more. Especially in hot weather.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yes. Hell, I actually love O’doul’s. I wish they could make fine wine with low alcohol and would actually keep you hydrated. I don’t like getting drunk but I love the taste of beer, wine and whiskey. I don’t drink much because of the alcohol.

Silence04's avatar

Craft beer, probably. Liquor, no.

Also, this would make one hell of a nightmare.

snowberry's avatar

It tastes nasty, and I don’t like feeling drunk or even tipsy. I can take an Actifed and feel that way.

Haleth's avatar

I’m probably the wrong person to answer this, but holy fuck, yes.

Wine has flavor/ texture combinations you can’t find in anything else. I tried a top white Burgundy a couple months ago (a chardonnay from the homeland of chardonnay, with the grapes grown in uniquely ideal conditions by someone who really cares.) Compared to the versions on most grocery store shelves, it’s like a McDonald’s hamburger patty vs. a prime aged ribeye from a good steak house.

I get to try maybe 10–30 wines a week, which has given me a lot of experience describing them as concisely as possible. Say it’s an average cabernet sauvignon from California, my notes might read something like “medium weight, low tannins, juicy, blackberries, dark chocolate.” A note like that is enough to sum up most everyday wines.

With this one, I wrote stuff like “it has a confusing honey smell” or “it delights the senses with so many different associations of apples and the harvest” or “fresh baked bread with fresh butter and clover honey” or “rich and opulent, clean and refreshing at the same time… how???”

Ok, like- you know when you bite into a granny smith apple, or suck on a lemon, and it’s refreshing and dries your mouth? Or how if you eat creme brulee, or really nice butter on bread, it leaves a pleasantly rich feeling in your mouth? This wine had both of these qualities at the same time. Really good wines can have the rich smoothness of heavy cream, and the refreshing tartness of apples or citrus fruits, at the same time.

This particular one stands out in my memory as one of the best things I’ve had all year, but the wine world is full of amazingly memorable experiences. With the best wines, you can think about them, it’s like this intellectual puzzle, and you can also bask in hedonistic enjoyment. They’ll bring up lovely mental associations- like, white Burgundy reminds me of a sunny fall afternoon, and Barolo reminds me of a drizzly and chilly late fall day. Sometimes I’ve gotten the same feeling with scotch.

Anyway, the best way to enjoy wine like that is over a couple hours, with a meal and with good company. Getting gradually tipsy is a pleasant side effect, but it definitely isn’t the main event. Alcohol in wine actually adds to its texture but if that weren’t the case, I’d still seek out these experiences.

anniereborn's avatar

@Haleth Is this why it seems once women get past the age of like 30 they tend to drink wine? I know younger women do, and men of all ages. But in my friends and those of others I really see that trend.

Haleth's avatar

@anniereborn Maybe? I think it takes a few years of experience to get involved with wine at that level. Most people in their 20s treat wine like a food, or like another option alongside cheap beer or basic mixed drinks. They buy the same everyday wines again and again and drink it to get drunk.

There’s also kind of a stigma against men drinking wine, unfortunately. The guys I meet who are really into wine tend to be also really into food, and it’s like a facet of their foodie lifestyle. Or they go all out, and strive to be the best wine guy they can, and it’s a point of pride for them. I know very few guys who enjoy wine as part of their everyday lives just because.

johnpowell's avatar

I love the taste of beer. I Would still drink it. Granted, I would stop drinking the Ides but I would still drink Fat Tire.

ucme's avatar

I only drink it for the taste anyway, drinking purely to get drunk is for the birds #numbnuts

downtide's avatar

Yes, I would. I would drink more of it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Haleth Wow!!! Your answer here could convert a Baptist teetotaler!!!

Your description floored me: “when you bite into a granny smith apple, or suck on a lemon, and it’s refreshing and dries your mouth? Or how if you eat creme brulee, or really nice butter on bread, it leaves a pleasantly rich feeling in your mouth? This wine had both of these qualities at the same time. Really good wines can have the rich smoothness of heavy cream, and the refreshing tartness of apples or citrus fruits, at the same time.”

And here I am, still thinking the best tasting wine on the planet is Manischewitz Cream White Concorde, a blend so sweet it would give a hummingbird a headache.
When I grow up I want to have dinner with you!!!

canidmajor's avatar

Yes. My palate is nowhere near as sensitive and educated as @Haleth,‘s but there are a number of types of wine that I drink simply because I enjoy the taste.

downtide's avatar

@Haleth I definitely get where you’re coming from and I concur that scotch can be very similar. A couple of years ago I went to a scotch whisky “tasting class” which taught me a lot about scotch and why there are some that I love and others I hate. Whisky flavours can be plotted on a map like this My personal taste is for the rich fruity ones like Macallan and Balvenie. One I tasted in particular, Aberlour Abunadh, was like drinking distilled Christmas in a glass; all rich fruit and sweet spice with a hint of pine. I spent £65 on a bottle of that one.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


As long as the alcohol was still present, making beverages taste and age the way they already do.

I would miss the happy tho.

Pachy's avatar

No. I never much liked the taste of alcohol (especially beer), so I mainly drank it only to “loosen up” in social situations. I stopped drinking it because I didn’t like the way it made me feel, plus I’ve always been concerned about the possibility of its negatively interacting with my medications or being stopped for a DWI.

Haleth's avatar

@LuckyGuy Yesss, it’s so awesome. Please get into wine, then my evil plan to convert all the world’s drinkers one at a time will be complete. :D

@downtide That’s a cool link! I’m more of a beginner about scotch, but those are my sorts of flavors too. For me the Highland Park 15 is sort of in the sweet spot. It has really rich caramel/ dried apricot flavors and a lovely sort of campfire smokiness. Maybe I have a mental block about buying scotch because a bottle is so expensive, and what if you don’t like it? Anyway, learning more about it is a personal project for this year. :)

janbb's avatar

No; although I will have a glass of wine with a meal to feel it is more festive and not really for the taste or the tipsy.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I don’t really drink as it is, so no.

hearkat's avatar

It’s not the tipsy that prevents me from drinking it, it’s the sneezing and the rash that I randomly experience when drinking various alcoholic beverages. Tipsy no longer appeals to me either, but I’m such a lightweight that I can only have a couple sips before getting a buzz, so that limits me to one drink consumed very slowly (if I happen to find one that doesn’t immediately shut off my sinuses and render me unable to taste anything). Lastly, is the cost – it is crazy how expensive some cocktails are.

I do miss the taste and the texture, though. My answer then, is Yes, I’d like to be able to enjoy adult beverages without the side effects to my body and my wallet.

downtide's avatar

@Haleth lots of whiskies come in miniatures that are great for trying out something new without investing in a full bottle.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have been to 2 scotch tasitngs 10 different Scotches sorted by “peatiness”. We did the rolling off the sides of the tongue, the center of the tongue, adding a drop of distilled water, etc.
I didn’t get it at all. Each one tasted/felt like fire to me. As they approached the more peaty flavors I could not get past the smell. Some of them were very expensive and several of the guys were raving over it.
All I got out of it was Bleech! They would ask each person what they thought. I kept my honest opinion to myself and just said “That is interesting.”
I felt a little ashamed.
@downtide Next tasting you can have mine.

jca's avatar

On one of my Ireland trips, I toured the Jameson distillery. They had a tasting of Jameson compared to scotch. The Jameson tasted so much smoother. The scotch was probably the lowest, cheapest brand. Meanwhile, here back at home (on the “outside” LOL), when I taste Jameson, I think it’s gross.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Crisp, dry, white wine is delicious. I drink it for enjoyment, not to get tipsy. If someone could invent an alcohol-free wine that tastes equally good, I’d buy caseloads.

While we’re at it, let’s remove all the calories, too!

rojo's avatar

I suppose it would depend on the alcohol. There are some beers that are outstanding. As are some wines and whiskeys.

dappled_leaves's avatar

It’s a difficult question to answer – the alcohol is what gives wine or spirits their taste and texture. I can’t think a single non-alcoholic wine I’ve enjoyed. I don’t drink alcohol to get drunk; I drink it because it’s a delicious accompaniment to a meal or because of the association of particular drinks with particular friends. Sometimes, a little buzz is enjoyable, but it’s very seldom the point.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jca Next tasting I’ll give half of my scotch to you and the other half to @downtide.

Clearly I am missing something. It was just fire going down my gullet. I could not imagine anyone drinking the stuff let alone enjoying it! Yikes! I am such a wimp.
Now a light, chilled Sauvignoin blanc with its summery smell of freshly cut grass is a different story. That is about as far as I go from the sweet side.

I’d gladly skip the ethanol if it came that way.

downtide's avatar

@LuckyGuy If it’s a peaty/smoky one I’ll pass, I really don’t like those. I once tried a Caol Isla and it was like… well, you know when the fire brigade goes to a burning house they spray water over it to put the fire out? It was like someone collected all the water off the floor and called it Scotch.

Katniss's avatar

I very rarely drink. When I do, it’s for a reason. So no, I would not drink if the end result wasn’t a buzz.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Scotch can be orgasmic to rot-gut. I admit I don’t know too much about scotch except how it is made. Kentucky, where there are strict laws as to what can be called bourbon is where it’s at. I don’t think any amount of hard liquor is good for you so I rarely touch it. One glass of wine every couple of weeks is about my exposure these days.

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