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consistent reviews

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by searsclone, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. searsclone

    searsclone Savant (370) Arizona Sep 7, 2006

    The more I review, the more I want to be consistent. I hope to use the same words to describe the same flavors, smells, etc. As I look back at my reviews, I'm all over the place! So, I'm browsing the web for definitions and examples, and I come across an article about placebo. Basically, it says that if you know what it is supposed to be, you might change your mind. My point is this: do you think that you might review a beer with more scrutiny because of what you expect?
    kojevergas likes this.
  2. TheSSG

    TheSSG Savant (410) Illinois Jul 27, 2008

    That's why hyped biers tend to score well. Expectations absolutely create high/low scores.

    You should only be consistent if the biers are very similar.
    Ambers can be all over the place; hoppy, malty, sweet, etc.
    Then, going from an Amber to a hefeweizen, it's not going to use much of the same vocabulary.

    I try to be as fair as I can (I actually dislike scoring biers, I just like doing notes), and I can feel that conflict arise when I glance at the score before I submit my review.
    I know, somewhere in the back of my mind, that's having some kind of effect.

    I see a review from time to time that in no way justifies its scores with any explanation.
    "Not too bad..." "Taste: 5"

    I tend to use the NOTES to guide my decisions.
    If I'm somewhere, and I can only try one, I see what people are liking, and I read through the notes, and see if it's a profile I like.
    So, don't let the numbers become too important. Let good reviews guide you more.
    gcamparone and searsclone like this.
  3. Take every review with a grain...no make that a beach worth of sand.
    Double blind reviews are non-existent, taste is subjective, & expectations based on reading, hype, and price paid are almost always influential.
  4. searsclone

    searsclone Savant (370) Arizona Sep 7, 2006

    I agree with the what you say about consistent when the biers are similar. What I meant was I want to use the same words to describe the same thing. I just want to say "hops" instead of sour or bitter...
  5. You have to rate to style.
    BlackBelt5112203 and kojevergas like this.
  6. Sometimes I feel like I 'taste' a flavor because I see it on the bottle. But I try to never let my overall review be connected to anything I've heard prior.
  7. the more you review, the more you'll hate your old reviews. Roll with it.
    UCLABrewN84 and harrymel like this.
  8. gcamparone

    gcamparone Advocate (685) Rhode Island Dec 6, 2011 Subscriber Beer Trader

    I've found that the best way to be consistant is to give each category (appearance, smell, taste, mf) a number rating first, THEN justify why you rated it that way. Most of the time you know right off the bat whether or not you like a brew, without even putting it into words. It's not like writing the review is going to change your opinion (it shouldn't at least)
  9. Jesus man. What happened to just drinking a beer and enjoying it? ;-P
    albertq17 likes this.
  10. basscram

    basscram Savant (395) Maine Mar 29, 2006

    do not look at what others review when you would like to review a beer cause it will cause you to alter your tasting. Even if your review is somewhat elementary, it is "your" tasting. Enjoy it, make notes, review.
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
  11. True that!

    The more we review, the better we get. The better we get the more we drink. The more we drink, the more we review. It's a vicious cycle- one I'm ok with. I have some stinker reviews out there. I'll eventually try those beers again and do a better review then. I'm sure that in ten years from now I'll look back at my reviews and say, "What an idiot!" But it's the journey that's more important to me. I'm just enjoying the ride!
    searsclone likes this.
  12. socon67

    socon67 Champion (825) New York Jun 18, 2010

    You've got two different questions OP. the first is if you review to style. An imperial IPA is supposed to have a robust hop profile. If it doesn't have that, even as a good beer, it would be reviewed lower to a person who is reviewing to style. I know for certain beers that I waited to try, I'm giving it more focus and probably a more critical review.

    The second argument is if previous reviews, the overall rating, the Bros. take on a beer, and other information affect your expectation and the resulting review. This is often the case. A person who went to lengths to get their first Pliny or KBS is really hoping for that awesome beer experience and will want it to be really good. They also might not want to be in the monority that isn't blown away by these world class beers. There are also people who set the bar so high that no beer can reach that expectation and be disappointed in an otherwise very good beer. The reviews and rating are affected accordingly.

    Heck, just slap Bourbon Barrel Aged on the label and under-distribute a beer and you might see its rating go up.
    searsclone likes this.