If you give me a US IPA, and you tell me exactly what style it is, then my brain triggers an expectation of taste. If you give me a beer, but don’t tell me what it is, and I see that it’s chestnut brown with a thin head, then I can almost taste it before I actually raise the glass to my lips – it’ll be bready, a little toffee, maybe some earthy, English hops, right? If you give me a bottle and don’t tell me the style but the tasting note says ‘rich chocolate flavour, roasted fruit and a bitter finish’ then I know what to expect when I drink it. And if you gave me a bottle of Dark Lord/Westvleteren 12/Pliny the Younger then I can guess roughly what it’ll taste like flavour-wise and I also expect it to be incredible, thanks to its stellar reputation. But how much do these – knowing the style, colour, tasting notes and reputation – affect the actual perception of taste?