I'm actually referring to taste in its truest sense -- the sense of taste in our mouths. I always hear about what tobacco "tastes" like when smoked, and this really confuses me. To me, I don't really taste the smoke, or at least I don't think I do. It seems more like smelling than tasting to me. I maybe experience about 1% of the smoke's characteristics on my tongue (taste) and the other 99% is experienced in my sinuses and nose (smell), mostly when I exhale out my nose (or retrohale, as some call it). Is it possible that all those years of cigarette smoking obliterated my taste buds and is preventing me from "tasting" the smoke? Or is it more likey that I'm simply new to pipe smoking and just haven't developed my palate yet? Or, is everyone just using the term "taste" loosely to describe whatever way they experience the smoke... a combo of mouth feel, true tongue taste, and olfactory perception? I'll be honest, at this point, I think it is a loosely used term and doesn't refer specifically to mouth and/or tongue taste, as I don't believe the nature of smoke/vapour is as conducive to perceiving it via our taste buds as it is via our olfactory receptors since it is not solid or liquid matter.
EDIT: Just wanted add that I notice some YouTube reviewers of tobacco smacking their lips, tongue and mouth as they're attempting to assess and describe a tobacco's "taste." I don't get it. I mean, I've stated my opinion on the matter, but surely these guys aren't acting or aren't deluded when they're doing that, right? But then again, that's something wine and cheese connoisseurs do... however it's with solid and liquid food matter, not gases and fumes and vapours of a leaf. Anyway, just remembered that and think it's pretty funny watch.