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Never a 5

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Huffaroma, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Huffaroma

    Huffaroma Savant (280) Montana Jan 2, 2012

    How come as MANY beers as there are out there, I rarely see a 5 rating across the board? And if you do have a number 5 beer tell me what it is.
    19etz55 and seakayak like this.
  2. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poobah (1,090) California Jan 31, 2005 Subscriber Beer Trader

    2009 Black Tuesday. God that was phenomenal!!!

    But I know what you're saying. I guess we're thinking 5 is pure perfection, and even when you're in that moment of Beer Bliss, you're still living & breathing so you're still part of this world, thus even a GREAT beer can only be "almost a 5."
    aasher and kemoarps like this.
  3. KFBR392

    KFBR392 Advocate (500) Illinois Jul 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    I think I saw some 5's for Natural Ice from the "Hads" folks
  4. zachary80

    zachary80 Savant (355) Indiana Nov 29, 2009

    A perfect score should be attainable but not common. I've never written a full review for a beer that was exceptional and without an issue across the board, my closest would be Surly Abrasive at a 4.83. However, Barrel Aged Plead the 5th from Dark Horse would likely get a 5 if I ever cared to write a review for it. I've had enough bottles to form a solid opinion but every time I have one I'd rather just enjoy it than review it.
  5. davey101

    davey101 Champion (860) Connecticut Apr 14, 2009 Beer Trader

    All 5's means a perfect beer. Ive never had a truly perfect beer before. Very close (4.88)...but not quite all 5's.
  6. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poobah (1,200) Colorado Aug 15, 2010 Beer Trader

    I always figured a 5 rating indicates perfection - that the beer could not get better in any way.

    I've had a few that've come close, but never a perfect beer.
  7. alex_hart

    alex_hart Advocate (605) Oklahoma Feb 28, 2013

    The reason you don't see a "5" rating across the board is because that would mean, according to the rules of reviewing, there is literally nothing better that could possibly be done in any given category.

    If a beer were to be given 5's across the board, that should mean that it is the absolute epitome of whatever style it may be, and that there is no hope for improvement.

    Because, if you give "blank" barley-wine 5's across the board, and then you find another barley-wine that you like better, wouldn't that dilute the 5's you are going to give it?

    I think a full set of 5's means that you have no hope for the future of that style.

    But of course this is all my opinion on the matter, because I like to believe that, even if that beer I just had seemed perfect, there will be another one that I will try some day that will surpass it, and therefor my search will continue.
    kemoarps and davey101 like this.
  8. Revenant

    Revenant Savant (350) Minnesota Aug 8, 2012

    Abrasive, Furious and Bitter Brewer are both 5's IMHO. Perfection to me.
  9. TMoney2591

    TMoney2591 Poobah (1,065) Illinois Apr 21, 2009

    If the beer is truly that good (and I agree that it is superb), there should be no trouble with both enjoyment and a review...
  10. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    I don't get too crazy about rating beers. I really try not to give 5's out, and I always make sure I've had the beer more than once before I give it a 5. Scrolling through the list of beers I've rated on here I totally agree with all the 5's that I've given, those are all some of my favorite beers. I know a lot of people might not agree with some of them, but taste is subjective, and for me the beers that I've given a 5 are perfect to me. I also try to always remind myself that it doesn't really matter at all how I choose to rank a given beer on a scale from 1-5, because after all, I'm just some random dude posting on a website about beer......with all that being said.....I love beer.
  11. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    Do you think that's just because your expectations are too high? Have you ever had a beer and thought "wow, this is the best beer I've ever had" but you still haven't given it a 5 just because you don't feel like you should? Sometimes I'll be drinking a beer, especially some of the "rare" hyped beers and my expectations are through the roof and I find myself let down, but then if I just take a step back and enjoy the beer for what it is, then I find the experience much more enjoyable.

    I'm not trying to argue with you or anything, just trying to discuss.

    Huffaroma likes this.
  12. raynmoon

    raynmoon Advocate (630) Colorado Aug 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    Things can never be a 5 because you may love the way a beer tastes to no end, but it looks terrible in the glass. You aren't going to give it a 5 in appearance just so it ends in a 5. The results are always skewed.
  13. raynmoon

    raynmoon Advocate (630) Colorado Aug 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    ...therefor you will never give a beer the rating it deserves.... If it tastes great and you love it, you should give it a 5 for that category.
    TongoRad likes this.
  14. HopCraverDave

    HopCraverDave Aficionado (185) Ohio Feb 20, 2013

    I have never been overwhelmingly "wowed" by a beer.

    That is, until I drank IBUsive at Fatheads.

    It ended up as a 4.98 on my BA rating. (I still feel that appearance is a tough call)
  15. mikeyv35

    mikeyv35 Savant (450) New York Oct 15, 2008 Beer Trader

    I would have to say Heady Topper is the closest I have ever been to giving a beer a perfect score. I am not even a huge DIPA guy, but I have had this beer numerous times and am blown away each time and don't feel that a better DIPA could possibly be brewed. IMO for the style it is perfection. However, I still left a bit of breathing room just shy of 5 to give another brew the chance to boggle me even more. Only time will tell.
    cavedave likes this.
  16. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Beer Trader

    A 5 means I quit drinking anything else.
    yamar68 and RobertColianni like this.
  17. According to the site guidelines, a 5 should be rare, and should be given to a beer that can't be improved.

    To me, this doesn't mean there can only be one 5, or even that there can only be one 5 within a style.

    But I have only managed to issue a 5 once, and it pisses me off, because the geniuses who run this site refuse to distinguish between Furious and Tea- Bagged Furious.

    Let me be clear: Tea-bagged Furious is an improvement over Furious. If I want to give a 5 to Tea-Bagged Furious, I have to give it to Furious. But by definition, a 5 cannot be improved. Let me reiterate: Tea-bagged Furious is an improvement over Furious.

    Can anyone else see how crazy this is?
    pmccallum86 likes this.
  18. Huffaroma

    Huffaroma Savant (280) Montana Jan 2, 2012

    I'm with bifrost17 on this, I get wowed by great beer and thus I give out 5 ratings. Its just my opinion on the beer. By the way 2006 Widmer's Snow Plow Milk Stout 5 across the board
    bifrost17 and HipsterBrewfus like this.
  19. MadDogMD

    MadDogMD Aficionado (140) Arizona Jan 7, 2013 Subscriber

    There was a similar quote from the Mikkeller guy (forgive me, I forget his actual name) basically saying if he thought he ever brewed the "perfect" beer, he would stop brewing after that. I kind of feel the same way in giving a beer a perfect score. By the way, he said he thought the "perfect" beer ever brewed was Orval.
  20. ChrisMon02

    ChrisMon02 Advocate (625) Ohio May 2, 2010

    On tap now and heading there after work to get a growler fill. That shit is fantastic.
    Cazlo and HopCraverDave like this.
  21. SteelersX

    SteelersX Advocate (570) New York Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    How would you know it if you had it?
  22. Dennoman

    Dennoman Advocate (525) Belgium Aug 20, 2011

    For me, 5 =/= perfection in its narrowest sense.

    There are multiple ways of defining perfection, and when I do reviews, I tend to handle a fairly broad one. A beer deserves a 5 if there's nothing I can really fault with it in terms of technical execution or flavor. Beer's not math, because in math you either attain "perfection" by doing your calculations right and therefore end up with an undeniably correct solution. When tastes or opinions are concerned, true perfection simply doesn't exist.

    Real perfection is a borderline metaphysical concept for me. If you were to ever discover true perfection in any way, there'd be no use in continuing your quest for delicious beer and you might as well walk off a cliff and kill yourself.

    The true test of any 5 beer is the second sip for me. If that's as good or even better than the first, I'm sold. If there's absolutely no aspect of the beer I can fault in the slightest, it would be arrogant of me not to give it a 5.

    But hey, that's how I feel, having reviewed lots of games/movies/... over the years :)
    Ri0, TongoRad and HipsterBrewfus like this.
  23. beercanman

    beercanman Savant (485) Ohio Dec 17, 2012

    2006 Avery Meph..deserves a 6.
    Huffaroma likes this.
  24. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,045) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Beer Trader

    There are certainly echelons when evaluating something, whether it be movies, music, wine, beer, etc. Placing things in a certain order once they have achieved that place is a futile effort because it really doesn't take into account the very wide variety of items on that level- I mean, are you really going to get all bent if somebody puts The Godfather two spots higher than Citizen Cane? They are both excellent, and leave it at that.

    If I give a 5 out for aroma, then I think it deserves that rating for the style, context, etc., of what that beer is trying to be. And there can be others, within that style and without. It doesn't mean some unattainable level of perfection, but something very real that can and does happen. And so forth down the line with flavor, etc.

    Looking at my reviews, I have given all 5s to:
    Schlenkerla Urbock
    Ayinger Celebrator
    Alaskan Smoked Porter

    and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
  25. I have no qualms about giving a beer a 5. its not a matter of perfection, but more the reaction I had to it. Tart of Darkness was a 5 for me. Expedition was nearly a 5 for me, also.

    But I subscribe to Dennomans point of view.
  26. hooliganlife

    hooliganlife Advocate (675) Missouri Apr 12, 2007 Beer Trader

    Never had a 5, but a few 4.95's (fonteinens)
  27. xnicknj

    xnicknj Advocate (740) Pennsylvania May 25, 2009

    If you're reviewing to style and considering each aspect of the beer individually, it's practically impossible for something to have all 5's. 4.85 is as high as I've gone in 1600+ reviews/hads.
    davey101 likes this.
  28. tectactoe

    tectactoe Champion (870) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    I'm under the impression that there's always something better out there, so I have to leave space at the top of the list in case I actually drink one of those beers one day.
    Lipsntoes and gcamparone like this.
  29. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,025) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader

    I have had the privilege to try well over 100 different takes on the berliner style and wrote reviews for about 60 of them. There might be a better one out there but I havent found it yet.

    Southampton's original berliner (not the uber version) has been the only perfect 5 rating I have ever given. Unfortunately it also gets a perfect 5 rating for rarity.

    Runner up for a perfect 5 in that style is Schultheiss...how I wish they still were making that beer.
  30. woosterbill

    woosterbill Champion (915) Kentucky Apr 6, 2009 Beer Trader

    Perfect 5s should be really rare, but I disagree with the line of thinking that "there can always be something better, therefore no beer should ever get a perfect score." A 5 means, to me, that a beer is faultless - not that I can't imagine something even more delicious in the style.

    Personally, I've given across-the-board 5s to three different beers - one hoppy (Heady Topper, on tap at the Alchemist pre-Sandy), one malty (NEBCO Coffee-Infused Imperial Stout Trooper batch 1), and one sour (Armand'4 Lente, poured by Armand himself at the brewery).

    The first two were faultless, the last attained a level of perfection that I'm not sure will ever be topped.
    Huffaroma likes this.
  31. HopCraverDave

    HopCraverDave Aficionado (185) Ohio Feb 20, 2013

    Filled up two growlers on Sunday as soon as I learned it was back!
  32. In the nearly three years I have been keeping track of the beers I drink and giving them ratings/reviews I have only had one 5. That was De Proef K-O Blond Ale. My god, that one blew me away. If only I could get another bottle...Ive only given three 4.5 ratings (EKU 28, PtE, Broederlijke Liefde from De Proef).

    Basically, if a beer is quite good and impresses me then a 4 is very possible. But a beer as to be something special to get a 4.5 and better knock me off my feet to get a 5. For example, EVERY sip of the K-O was followed my a "wow" or "oh my god" and I have been searching for it or a similar experience ever since.
  33. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I've always wondered....what the hell does it matter what a beer looks like?

    Take Heady for instance, I gave it a 5 (Hads) because it smells and tastes bloody amazing, but it looks like to fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down....but you know how much that effected my enjoyment of the beer? 0.
  34. I think Mayim Bialik is a 10.
    aasher likes this.
  35. Knapp85

    Knapp85 Champion (830) Pennsylvania Dec 25, 2009 Beer Trader

    Haven't given a 5 to anything yet... 4.95 is the highest I've rated. That being said it was Heady Topper and Founders Nemesis 2009.
  36. braugon

    braugon Savant (400) Connecticut Mar 14, 2013

    high 5? y u no high 6?
    KWMiles likes this.
  37. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Advocate (665) Michigan Sep 21, 2012 Beer Trader

    Fives in individual categories are rare enough, fives across the board is outrageous. But I don't think there's anything wrong with reviewing a beer with fives throughout -- it's when you "Have" one and give it a five. If it's that good, is it not worth reviewing?
  38. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Advocate (665) Michigan Sep 21, 2012 Beer Trader

    I don't dislike "Hads," by the way. When used sparingly, they're fine.
  39. nrs207

    nrs207 Advocate (715) Pennsylvania Sep 8, 2011 Beer Trader

    I just give a 5 to whatever beer is my favorite. I figure if I've had some of the highest rated beers for a style and in general, and one is definitely my favorite, then it deserves a 5. Why even have 5 if it's unattainable? No one can ever brew a "perfect" beer, so I'm still going to give out 1 5 at a time until something new tops my current #1.
    Omer4176 and StArnoldFan like this.
  40. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poobah (1,135) New York Aug 25, 2010 Subscriber Beer Trader

    The only 5-across-the-boards beer I ever had was the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier - and its not my favorite beer, or even style of beer; its just that for that style, in my estimation, you'll never do better.

    I haven't found that in any other style (in many cases because the style is so broad, like "Imperial stout" - there are so many intrepretations of the style). A hefeweizen, on the other hand, seems to be a pretty straightforward style, and the Weihenstephaner is a flawless hefeweizen, no?
    Blanco likes this.