I believe that the palate DOES start to betray one some time after 60, obviously in varying degrees and at different rates of failure.
I disagree in a way. In Okie talk, the smeller really goes, which causes the palate to perceive less flavors.
Being serious, the prevalence of impaired olfaction increases with age; it is estimated that 50 percent of adults over age 60 have a decreased sense of smell. Olfaction plays a significant role in our detection of the aroma and flavor of foods and beverages. Older people often no longer look forward to eating and drinking, and they often refuse to go out to dinner and associate with friends -- this is not to mention the dangers associated with the inability to detect the odors of spoiled food, smoke, and leaking gas.
Flavor involves the combined features of smell, taste, irritation, texture, and temperature. The smell or aroma of food and beverages is the most important
contributor to flavor; derangement of the olfactory system is often described by people as a problem with taste. Olfactory disorders are reported more frequently than taste impairment since people recognize smell loss more readily due to the dramatic decrease in the ability to perceive the flavor of food and beverages.
Total loss of taste is rarely seen because of the anatomy and redundancy of the taste system. Losses in taste perception do occur with aging, although they are not as marked as losses in olfaction.