On Alcohol and Anosmia 

Happy Birthday to me! I’m 21, which in the U.S. means I can legally drink alcohol.

Exciting? Hardly. Wine tastes nothing but bitter. Vodka is the same. Tequila’s burn at the end overpowers the bitterness. Beer too tastes bitter. So much of the experience of alcohol — and why drinking wine or crafting beer is an art, and why so many people enjoy drinking alcohol — has to do with retronasal olfaction. To me, an anosmic, every type of alcohol tastes the same to me (though each has its distinct effect). Bitter. It’s like having medicine.

Sweet drinks like margaritas and sour ales are about the only drinks I can enjoy. I’m not sure that there’s a way around it or a way to better enjoy alcohol – perhaps these drinks are as good as it’s going to get for me.


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