Occasionally I get a comment from someone saying “Only 4 stars” or something similar so I thought I would do a quick post on how I rate beer. I do not have a complex method of rating like BeerAdvocate or RateBeer with ratings within a given style or rating deviations from my average rating. Far too complicated for my little blog.
When giving ratings I go almost entirely on how I liked the beer. However there are a number of things that influence my decision with the normal; appearance, aroma, taste and to much lesser extent mouthfeel. Unless the beer seems thin or overly thick the mouthfeel doesn’t have a big affect on my rating.
The tough part comes when I drink a lot of or very few from a given style. My ratings on Double IPAs are going to be harsh as I have tried many of the best from Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Rising Tide and others. You may make an excellent DIPA but if I am comparing it to the very best it simply does not stand up. In this case the excellent DIPA may only get 4 stars. The opposite comes into play with styles like Gose, I have only had a few and I really enjoyed them. If you make a Gose and it compares well with Westbook or Lost Nation than you will get a solid rating even though there may be others that are much more deserving of a high rating; I just have not had them.
Then we get into things that I simply do not like. I do not drink coffee, I don’t like coffee not even coffee ice cream if the beer has lots of coffee flavor it is going to get a lower rating. No fault on the brewer’s part I just don’t enjoy coffee beer, this is why the famous KBS only scored 4 stars. One of the best looking, best mouthfeel stouts out there but I couldn’t get past the coffee.
So here it is;
|This is my lowest rating reserved for beers that are truly bad. Most likely these
beers were infected or had something wrong with them or at least I hope they did.Infidel Brewing Bottom O the Cauldron (now out of business) may be the only half
star rating I have ever given.
|Only slightly better than the half star rating. This means the beer had something
good about it; appearance, aroma, something. Still went down the drain but it wasn’t
|We are getting better but still firmly in the bad beer ratings. At this point I may
have finished the beer but probably not. Still may have a good quality to it.
|Only slightly worse than average. For the most part this is still reserved for beer
that is not very good but it could also be a beer from a style that I truly do not enjoy.
|Two and half stars is your average beer. The beer was drinkable but forgettable. If
you see it at a party or gathering and don’t have to pay for it grab one but don’t buy it.
|Now we are getting into beers that you should buy and try. Even if I only gave it 3 stars
it is probably worth trying at least once as your tastes may differ from my own.
|A lot of the beer I drink will fall into the three and half to four star rating as I try to buy
good beer. Similar to the 3 star rating you should give it a try.
|Now we are talking about truly excellent beer. Anything that is four stars or above you
should make every effort to drink that beer.
|Four and half stars probably really should be five stars as these beers are truly World
class. I decided when I started my blog to give very few five star ratings so four and a
half is almost as good as it gets.
|These beers are truly exceptional, the best of the best and if you can get your hands on
them via trade, getting in your car and driving for hundreds of miles or bribing your
local bottle shop owner to set one aside for you. Find these beers and enjoy them.
To date I have only given five – 5 star ratings;
That is less than 1% of the beer I have reviewed. I’m guessing I have a few more 5 star ratings in the cellar and hopefully I will find them soon.