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Beer Styles You Don't Like - Harder or Easier?

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by MordeciaFunk, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (260) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    This popped into my head the other day when Mr Mulder asked about our favourite Black IPAs. I don't really like the style. Give me malts or give me hops but separately please.

    I have however rated Karma Citra as a 4.5 on my profile. This is because it ticks all the right boxes stylistically (in my neophyte opinion) and I did enjoy the beer. I'm fairly certain I'm being an easier judge on it because of my dislike for the style, not in spite of. I'm sure if it had been a stout or an IPA I would have been much harder, and perhaps harsher, in my judging. A case in point being Hop Hog. Given a choice I would drink Hop Hog over Karma Citra any day of the week, yet I rate Karma Citra higher.

    How do other people rate beer? Do you give 'stlye' points, even if you don't like the style, but it ticks all the style boxes? Are you easier on beer styles you dont like because of a) lack of knowledge b) you don't like the stlye but you like this beer, so it's easier to impress etc. Please discuss.

    I'm actually new to this rating (and on this site, ranting) business, so this is more of a general quest for advice and peoples way of doing things.
  2. sinkas

    sinkas Aficionado (170) Australia Jul 9, 2008

    I only rate occly on RB and couldnt be bothered drankin', or rating beers I dont like, I guess being the bar wench its important for you to taste the beers
  3. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Advocate (575) Australia Dec 29, 2006

    I'm not a big fan of Quads. I'm sitting on a few at the moment in the hope that from drinking them i'll warm to the style, but the ones i've had, i haven't loved as much as other ratings maybe make me believe i should.

    When reviewing i try and review to style or what the brewer was trying to do for the style. I think its possible to have any style that is a 5 or perfect. But it doesn't mean the one that scores a 5 is my favourite beer of all time or anything like that. So i definitely see where you are coming from with Hop Hog and Karma Citra.

    Not sure if i'm too harsh or kind to any particular styles, perhaps sweeter styles i could be kinder to (brown ales etc). I just review using the 1-5 scale where it is possible for a beer to score anywhere on that scale and not just from 3 up.

    It's all subjective of course, but that's sort of the formula i've run with and doesn't mean its right.

    I think Arbitrator summed it up best for me when he said "I rate to a C average. If you don't like that, go grab a beer...and rate it to a C average."
  4. spicelab

    spicelab Savant (425) Australia Nov 6, 2009

    There are lots of opposing views on this one. I factor in style as a point of reference for what I'm experiencing, but that's about as far as it goes.

    In practice, this means reviewing as far as possible in terms of universally applicable criteria. That is, simply identifying components, their appeal (or otherwise) and how well they speak to each other.

    This doesn't mean that I would give a "Red Ale" that tasted incredible a 5.0 for taste if I thought the malt bill was closer to an IPA. Although I probably wouldn't knock off more than 0.5 for the style indiscretion.

    My main reservation about reviewing entirely to style is that I think there are some (although not many) beer styles that have so little involved in their production and are so devoid of character that it seems perverse to give them a 5. An American adjunct lager, even if it's a perfect exponent of "the style" does not warrant a 5, anymore than a restaurant serving nothing but perfectly steamed rice deserves three Michelin stars.

    At the end of the day as MrKennedy notes it's all highly subjective, and impossible to fully spearate your own biases.
  5. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (260) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    I think what i was trying to get across is that it's easier to impress me with a style I'm not fond of. If I don't like the style and the beer impresses me then surely it is a good beer. I know this is a case of 'post hoc, ergo propter hoc' in my reasoning, but is this a common practise?
  6. danieelol

    danieelol Advocate (510) Australia Jun 15, 2010

    Personally I only buy beers I expect to be decent.

    I also stay away from quads, tripels and a lot of English Pale Ale and Brown Ale type styles (as well as any beers with a bad rating).

    Even then, quite a few disappoint.

    Mainly just review based on personal enjoyment (although I will make some exceptions for the aforementioned styles) as I trust my palate more than style guidelines.
  7. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (415) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    The only style I loathe is Kolsch, so I just don't drink them.

    Kolsch is stupid :mad:
  8. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (260) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    When people new to craft beer ask about Kolsch, I describe it as Switzerland. It's bland, cold and doesnt seem to do anything. Yet it still makes money.
  9. joecast

    joecast Advocate (570) Australia Jun 30, 2003

    If its a style I don't like, I probably mark bit harder as there must be some characteristic I don't care for.

    For a style I am new to, probably mark a bit easier until I get my head around all the flavor and aroma specific to that style.
  10. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Initiate (0) Australia Aug 29, 2008

    Think what you will find is your palate changes as you review beer. It makes you critically think about what you like and do not like. The trick to to always find something new to try and to push boundaries of your palate and to refresh it as too many IPA's or RIS can kill a palate pretty quickly. If that helps.
    hawthorne00 likes this.
  11. My adder?

    Very easy - in fact too easy - to highly rate a first of style you have. I recall way back when I had my first east coast style AIPA, being Brewdog Hardcore IPA. Rated it highly, as to my palate it was a taste sensation at the time. I've had several since then, and I am also now trying to rate to a C/3.00, so scores are, I suspect, lowering over the months / years.

    Recent examples of this? Nogne O /Bridge Roads India Saison, and also the Mad Brewers Hoppy Hefe. These have blown me away with a nudge to a rare 4.5 or 5 on taste. Simply because of novelty factor. [btw review not posted yet for MB]

    Another take - I will rate a well-made on-tap pint higher if I am still enjoying at at the end of the pint, after a fair bit of warming has taken place, and I also tend to drink pints in pubs slower than anything else I drink.

    Complex area

    2c over...
  12. Parrotshake

    Parrotshake Savant (345) Australia Nov 29, 2008

    I guess I enjoy every style of beer to some degree. That said if a brewery I know and love has an excellent range of beers including, say, a pilsener, tripel and/or english bitter, even if it's universally well regarded, I will still ignore that beer and buy the one style they make that appeals to me more and that I have had and liked. The upside is I'm almost always forced to regret my curmudgeonliness when I finally taste the beer that didn't appeal to me prima facie and realise that it's good. There's a time and a place for almost everything, and I have thought long and hard on the virtues of just plain enjoying a beer first, and then thinking about it a bit later.
  13. danieelol

    danieelol Advocate (510) Australia Jun 15, 2010

    Frankly I think Hardcore is a pretty awesome DIPA anyway, "East Coast style" or otherwise. Its reviews on both sites corroborate this.
  14. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (415) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    I find my tastes really differ to a lot of other beer geeks in this country. Hardcore? meh. Hop Zombie, didn't like it.

    I think there is something wrong with you all.
    mulder1010 likes this.
  15. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (260) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    There is something wrong.

    It's because of our copious amounts of whiskey taking, cigarette smoking, crack pipe and cocaine abuse Lukie. Only the hop bombs and super stouts seem to register with us now. Oh, wasted youth...
  16. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (260) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    Thanks for all your replies to this as well guys. It's been interesting to see peoples different points of view and rating/judging paramaters. Kudos to Mr Parrotshake too. It seems other people have had a classical education as well. :)
  17. parrotshake: "I have thought long and hard on the virtues of just plain enjoying a beer first, and then thinking about it a bit later."
    --> not sure if you intended this to be slightly facetious / ironic or not but... top quote.

    for me -- i'm no beer judge (nor aspiring to be one) so judging to style has no use for me... i just judge all beers as 'drinks'.
    so an average lambic (i love lambics) is always going to rate higher for me than a well made kolsch (i don't like kolsch's much like a few others here)... which is one of the reasons i don't review on ba.com (my method would skew results). there are so many variations on styles that for personal use, judging to style gets a bit muddy when beers don't fit into a particular style (would we judge black IPAs as IPAs or Porters if no one had coined the cascadian black ale style?)

    so i just judge based on whether i like/love/dislike/loathe a beer (and everything in between). its mainly for my future reference (do i want to buy this beer again?) cos beer memory gets hazy after trying so many brews.

    and although i ignore style criteria, i'm still as prone as anyone to incorporate personal bias into my reviews (locally brewed beers, or my favourite brewery attempting a new style, or a not-particularly-good-but-innovative-beer etc)... like i said i'm no beer judge so it doesn't matter a jot.

    but good thing that a lot of people do judge to style, otherwise this website wouldn't work very well

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