Does pure ethanol have a taste?

When you’re drinking vodka or other similar alcohols the taste comes mostly form contamination. But does a pure ethanol (like in laboratory pure - 99% or more) have a taste itself?

How could one tell? 99% proof with be so strong that the bruning sensation in your mouth would probably override any taste.

It tastes (or smells, as apart from basic sweet/salty/sour/bitter/umami gustatory sensations most of the taste experience derives from the olfactory senses) of alcohol - try adding different amounts of pure alcohol to pure water. You certainly can sense the difference when blind-tasting the resulting mixtures, although I don’t know how well you would do with your nose closed.

Been there, done that, with lab grade ethanol for herbal medicine making (we thought it might make the math easier, but it was a pain in the ass to order and to store, so we went back to Everclear and our ratio calculators). No, no taste. But yes, quite a strong odor, like rubbing alcohol only more so. Taking the lid off the tank was a giddy experience.

with 99% alcohol in your mouth you get a definite sensation due to the damage caused to your cells.

it has an odor. but not a taste.

It tastes like…burning.

Try adding some pure ethanol to pure water. It’s certainly detectable well below the mouth-burning level.
Not that I was sampling the lab supplies or anything. Although if I were going to do something so foolish, I’d shoot some on the GCMS first.

Yes, it has a taste. Always a bitter component, sometimes a sweet or sour one too, depending upon the person

Vodka has almost no contaminations; what you’re tasting is pure ethanol diluted with water. It has a slightly sweetish taste (at least, that what I sense).
More concentrated alcohol might dumben your taste-buds and leave you with nothing but the burning sensation you would get from other stuff like acetone.

Also been there and done (or dumbed) that. I agree: Slightly sweet, slightly, and what I can only best describe as “chemically”.

A curious thing I noticed is that if you take just a small sip, which is your initial self protective instinct, or as my mom futilely said, common sense, the liquid evaporates in your mouth before you can swallow it. It just sort of disappears and you swallow nothing. If you up the sip volume enough to have a residual gulp, the burning takes over.

People are using vodka as an example of “pure” ethanol. It is not. By US law it must be distilled to 190 proof (95%) or more. Distillation has a limit of 194ish proof so it is not possible to be pure from distillation. Medical grade ethanol is “dried” to remove the remaining water. But here is the thing with vodka- the law allows for the addition of small amounts of both sugar and citric acid to vodka. So you can’t drink vodka and expect it to have no taste. The taste is from either the 5% OTHER things remaining and/or the citric acid and sugar.
That being said there is a difference between sensing alcohol and tasting it. Also the “smell” certainly burns the nose but that is not the same as an odor. For certain things we have a difficult time distinguishing between the sensation and an odor or taste.

Can you please provide a cite for that ? I always understood that Vodka, per US laws required to be distilled till it had no flavor : Cite :

From (Bolding mine) : 27 CFR § 5.22 - The standards of identity. | CFR | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute