Or are my tastebuds deteriorating?
I used to detest the stuff; the smell made me heave; it absolutely ruined a cup of tea with its cooked milk taste. I refused to countenance it. But now I find I don't mind it at all; indeed, I can scarcely tell the difference. We use long life milk all the time now on Chertsey; it's so much easier to stock up on 500ml cartons before we leave than to constantly wonder where we are going to get the next pint from, and if it will still be useable in the morning. The half litre packs are a handy size which we can get through in a day, so rarely have to throw any away even without a fridge.
It seems to me unlikely that the fundamental processing of UHT milk has altered - it must still depend on heating it to a high temperature and therefore cooking it. But maybe there is a difference in the make up of the milk that is treated? Perhaps it contains less of the proteins or sugars that are affected by the heat? I've always thought that the effect was less noticeable with skimmed than whole milk, but I am comparing like with like (in the form of semi-skimmed) here.
If it's not the milk itself, then that only leaves my tastebuds. I would be prepared to believe that they were getting old and losing their sophisticated discrimination, if not for the fact that Sebastian, who similarly used to find long life milk revolting, has noticed the same phenomenon.