Site Do you ever wish you had the option of more rating precision here?

Discussion in 'Support & Suggestions' started by BrownNut, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. BrownNut

    BrownNut Devotee (428) Jul 11, 2011 Florida

    Do you ever which you could give quarter points in BA ratings?

    The issue for me is that I really only use one point of the 5-point scale for the most part, from 3.5 to 4.5. I'd like to be able to do 3.75 and 4.25 and occasionally 4.75 to distinguish things a bit better.

    For me, if a 1 is the worst it can get and a 5 is the best it can get, then 3.0 means average, means a beer that is basically generic. There's nothing specifically wrong with it and there's nothing notable about it. Flat. Boring. Level. For me Fat Tire exemplifies average. It's a perfect 3.0. I know people have different opinions so just substitute your own generic beer here. Most craft beers I've tried, by comparison, are really 3.5. They're a notch better than average. They're decent. And there are hundreds and hundreds of them. They don't really stand out in memory but they're decently made beers that don't put you off. Sometimes a beer might have something wrong with it but also good qualities to offset them and you score by feel.

    Most macros by comparison have something wrong with them to me - some off note, whether it's old taco shells or stale popcorn or wet cardboard or or wet dog or odd chemical something or nonspecific malaise. They dip below 3 in a given category and/or overall because there's something wrong with them. Most are 2.5 or south, but I rarely drink them and almost never bother to rate them. Really bad, offensive beers that have something really wrong with them get 1.x in one or more categories, whether macro or craft. This is pretty rare given that I avoid obvious 1.x candidates and craft rarely turns out that way.

    Back on the good side, a beer that stands out above the pack, that's really pretty good and notable in a given category or overall, gets a 4 in that category. Stuff that's just fantastic and excellent and great gets a 4.5 in a category or overall. I'm reluctant to award 5s because there's so many revered beers and breweries out there that I haven't tried. To give something a 5 means it can't get better in that category, but that's hard to say without having tried more of the most lauded beers and breweries in order to have that perspective for comparison, so I want to leave room. I've only given a few 5s in mouthfeel I think because there's just no way it could be better than silken velvet sex.

    So more than half of the scale goes unused for me. And within my range of mostly 3.5 to 4.5 (where I'm guessing most overall BA ratings fall), I'd like some more gradation. Sometimes when I consider a score in a given category for a given beer, it's more than a previous one that got, say 3.5, but less than one that got 4. But I have to pick one, which sort of throws it off.

    Overall, I think it all averages out, and a rating doesn't define a beer, and so who cares. I'm sure many of you don't care and that's fine. And it's pretty subjective anyway. And there are more important things in life, blah blah blah. But for me, for my own ranking of things for my own later memory and use, I'd like to be able to get more specific to better rank things against one another.

    What's your rating logic and could you use some finer measurements?

    PS - Rating to style would be a cure for a lot of what ails ratings, but not everything fits or was designed to fit in a category and I don't feel qualified or experienced enough to rate to style. Seems like an average, unimpressive beer could get a 5 as long as it hit all the supposed style requirements. That seems misleading and isn't helpful for me. So I just rate on how good, interesting, well-made, and impressive something is, knocking off points if needed for things that come across as defects.
    thecheapies and palma like this.
  2. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    I know what you mean. 1-10 scale still seems simple enough with plenty of fine tune to boot. That's just my $0.02.
  3. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    People give 1's? I can't get behind that. Unless its purely a blind taste test and they truly were the world's worst beers.
    I won't subject my palette to that kind of cruelty.
  4. BrownNut

    BrownNut Devotee (428) Jul 11, 2011 Florida

    Out of 150 ratings, I think I've only ever given a single 1 in taste (and a 1.5), a single 1 in smell, and a single 1 overall (and a 1.5), and those only affected two beers, neither of which I expected to be bad. But that's kind of the point. That portion of the scale goes almost totally unused. There aren't a whole lot of 2s either because most of us avoid things likely to be sub par or defective. I don't know if other people avoid 5s like I do for the same reasons I do, but the scale shrinks pretty small once you combine these areas that don't get much use. Hence the desire to expand the options and specificity in the truly usable range.
  5. macrosmatic

    macrosmatic Poo-Bah (2,029) Mar 9, 2006 Florida
    Beer Trader

    OP - I think you make excellent points in a well-thought-out, intelligently written post. I hope the brothers take your points to heart. I often find myself wishing for finer gradations in the rating system, for similar (if not identical) reasons. So much so, in fact, that if the site gave me the ability to save my written tasting notes and an overall score without entering ratings for the 5 score sections I would likely do so.

    @ DelMontiac - A 1-10 scoring system would only be an increase of one potential rating level from the current 1.0 - 5.0 system. I'm assuming that your hypothetical system would be integer-only. If not, then it would be an improvement.
  6. ChadQuest

    ChadQuest Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2009 Illinois

    Serious? Put on your big boy pants and use the whole range. Using a 1.0 range is your entire problem. Stop thinking you are going to make the bottle cry, that's just condensation. Before you even take a sip of the beer set each drop down bar to 3.0, and then decide +/- from there, and don't be a nancy, say it like a man with authority, a lot of beers suck, and that's fine, even a lot of craft beer sucks, i've even had "White Whales" that have sucked, and that is ok.


    PS. when you review a beer and say "There is a gross and distracting taste component in there that I can't shake......tastes like cat pee" don't give that beer a 2.9, it deserves much worse.
    LeRose, searsclone, palma and 4 others like this.
  7. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (958) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    People should experience the worst of craft beer before they start reviewing and then go from there.
    devilben02 and Beerandraiderfan like this.
  8. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    How do you know its the worst until you try it? Go by user reviews first. Validate/calibrate then move on?
    I don't write reviews but I do rate.
  9. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    No, not just integers or whole numbers. Like scoring divers in the Olympics. Maybe the biggest problem is that most people are new to the game when they start reviewing beers and aren't sure what an "average" beer is. I'm sure everyone's reference points are different. Experience brings a developed palate and heightened expectations. I'm pretty sure a beer I perceived as "average" today would have seemed "good" to me 10 years ago. On the other hand, the scoring system used here is simple for a reason. Us OCD-ers just like lots of numbers to choose from.
  10. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    All 1 scores? Sam Adams Triple Bock. 1997 vintage.
    palma likes this.
  11. jasonmason

    jasonmason Initiate (171) Oct 6, 2004 California

    You obviously never had the "opportunity" to try Stone Crime.

    And to me, 1/2 points are accurate enough. There's always a matter of subjectivity, and really .5 of a point isn't that big of a deal. People take point ratings way too seriously sometimes.
    devilben02 likes this.
  12. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,309) Aug 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I'm too busy trying to ensure consistency is maintained to worry about precision.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  13. MaxOhle

    MaxOhle Devotee (415) Nov 10, 2012 Illinois

    I have been thinking the same thing recently. I'd like to be able to differentiate more between two beers that I have given a 3.5. Perhaps a 1-10 scale with the smaller numbers in between would be a little more effective. Just my opinion, and of course my preference. Some people care, some don't, but I think the option should be there.
  14. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    I always thought 1/4 points at minimum would be a great idea on BA. They have 1/4 points for "Had's", but not reviews... I don't get it. If I take the time to taste and review a brew, I'd just like more options. I understand that no one that reads a review is really gonna care about my .02... but I do. I wouldn't think that It would be that big of a deal to make it happen.
  15. dvelcich

    dvelcich Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2008 Illinois

    Why don't we just have a write in portion instead of a drop down menu with preset options? Maybe some people want to review their beers in thumbs ups?
  16. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I care :grinning:
    Thickfreakness likes this.
  17. Dope

    Dope Poo-Bah (2,384) Oct 5, 2010 Massachusetts

    You've clearly never had Cave Creek Chile Beer.

    (I just checked, I actually gave it a 1.5...ugh.)

  18. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    If you use the rating system to decide whether to try something new, as I do, simply use the 1 -100 average at the top of the reviewing page. It gives you the average of everybody's review and what is usually the most subjective review by the bros. What's the problem with that? After you have a few, you're going to make up your own mind whether you want to buy the beer again so who gives a rat's ass about how others rated or how the system is set up.
  19. TheSixthRing

    TheSixthRing Poo-Bah (2,409) Sep 24, 2008 California

    There are quite a few beers I've had where the taste wasn't quite good enough for a 4, but was slightly better than a lot of the beers I've rated at 3.5. Same with 4 vs 4.5. Quarter increments would've made for a much more accurate score from me in those cases, instead of having to compromise the integrity of my review.

    I'm all in favor for quarter increments.
    tectactoe likes this.
  20. theHoff77

    theHoff77 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 Minnesota

    I'd rather give a beer a letter grade than a number. Before I joined this site that's how I personally rated beers, and I felt like that gave me a clearer opinion of what I thought of a beer because I can attach more meaning to it. The number system is too subjective to every individual's personal interpretation of what they think a number means because it's unclear. For example, even though a 3 is average I find myself having a hard time giving a beer a 3 because it sounds bad. Therefore, I tend to rate too many beers close to 4 which skews my own personal rating system because I know for a fact I'd prefer one beer to another, even though I rated them the same or really close. There are even beers I've rated lower that I like more than ones I've rated higher. Looking at the beers I've had it has become a clusterfuck around that 4 rating.
  21. macrosmatic

    macrosmatic Poo-Bah (2,029) Mar 9, 2006 Florida
    Beer Trader

    So (I hope) without stirring up the preceding debate: at some point in the last 3 days, the quarter-point scale for reviews was added. Now for my first extra-precise review...

    I appreciate the brothers listening to feedback!
  22. palma

    palma Defender (640) Dec 14, 2003 New York
    Beer Trader

    lol i remember that one alright. ewww
  23. BrownNut

    BrownNut Devotee (428) Jul 11, 2011 Florida

    Yeah man, me too. I went back and changed my ones that used to say, "I'd give this a 4.25 if i could" for example. It's very helpful and handy. It was surprising to see it actually implemented, but I guess it really makes sense if you're going to dump the hads in with the reviews, since the hads already had quarter points.

    That was quick work of them to offer the had-filtering-out option too. That's the first thing I thought of when I saw them clogging up the reviews. I usually only read the first page of reviews to get a range of thoughts about a beer and they were getting crowded out by the hads, which had no narrative. While overall numerical scores are useful to me, individual numerical scores are useless to me on their own, so I don't need to see just those. Individual narrative reviews are very useful though, so I'm glad they did that.
  24. macrosmatic

    macrosmatic Poo-Bah (2,029) Mar 9, 2006 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Agreed. I was annoyed at first when I saw the "Had's" on the list. But since they have the option to filter them out, I was thinking it might be a positive in that it could give raters a sense of accountability for the numerical-only scores given to beers.
  25. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I do like the 5.0 scale but would appreciate being able to use 0.25 increments vs 0.5 increments. I'm constantly writing things like "would give it a 4.25 if I could, so I'm rounding up a bit" with the current options.
  26. BasterdInABasket

    BasterdInABasket Aspirant (247) Nov 8, 2010 Wisconsin

    Looks like your wish was granted??
    Theres .25 increments in the ratings now.. that was fast!
    koopa likes this.
  27. thecheapies

    thecheapies Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2009 Pennsylvania

    This thread was a game-changer.
  28. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,552) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    .25 increments has been requested numerous times over the years. We added it with Hads over a year ago and were simply looking for an opportunity to add them to Reviews.

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