Inconsistent Rating within Styles- Sports Cars vs Pickup Trucks

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by danoble1, Feb 8, 2013.

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  1. danoble1

    danoble1 Aspirant (290) Apr 13, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Having only been a part of the BA community for a year I'm sure to receive criticism, but I feel compelled to share my observations.

    If there is such a thing as a 5/5 beer (and I know that is a whole thread in itself), can it be a Pale Ale?

    I can't argue that there are styles that I prefer over others and we are all the same in that regard. I prefer sports cars over pickup trucks. But does this preference compel me to rate the best pickup out there lower than all or most sports cars? That pickup may do everything that is asked of it, and deserves to be really close to a 5/5. Surely others may rate that pickup 5/5 and rightfully so, but to punish the pickup truck in the eyes of everyone solely because it is not a sports car or a luxury sedan is in my opinion ridiculous.

    So, can a Pale Ale be a 5/5, I would certainly hope so. If the beer in question represents the style perfectly I see no reason it can't be a 5/5 just like an Imperial Stout, 2XIPA, Belgian Quad, or Barleywine!

    Am I crazy or has anyone else noticed this.

    *I write this in hopes that one day perhaps we can do away with such Beer discrimination.*:astonished:
  2. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    Always rate to style. If I dislike a beer and I know it's because I'm not a fan of that style, I won't post a review.
  3. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,156) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Certainly, a given beer, regardless of style, can be 5/5, or a 1/5. The question to ask yourself is "can this beer any better for what it's trying to be?". If the answer is no, then it has earned a 5. Ferrari's might be fun to drive, but they suck at carrying plywood and 2x4's.
    danoble1 likes this.
  4. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    NBake, danoble1 and PoopChute69 like this.
  5. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    Some styles are just superior to others. E.g. Gueuze :grinning:

    But seriously, a compact car cannot (and should not) compete with a sports car; it's simply an inferior automobile.
    frazbri likes this.
  6. JM03

    JM03 Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2010 Ohio

    Seeing how the ratings are one persons opinion on that particular beer, then of course there can be 5/5 on any style.
    Also, Zombie Dust is listed as a pale ale - and is ranked very highly.
  7. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,044) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    So the Mercedes A Class, BMW 1-Series, and Audi A1 are all inferior to the Camaro, Firebird, and Mustang?
    yemenmocha likes this.
  8. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Zealot (515) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Yes, DIPAs and RISs have higher average ratings than more mild styles. It just reflects the general bias of the users. I try to take it into account when looking at the ratings, i.e. a 4.2 is incredible for a pale ale, simply above average for a DIPA.

    Of course it's just as silly that a score of 3.0 is labeled "average." I'd wager >90% of the beers on the site are rated "above average" by that metric.
  9. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Some people would call Weinstephaner hefe a 5/5.
    or the ever popular VVVVIIIITTTTUUUSSS (Never gets old)

    beertunes likes this.
  10. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (1,805) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I would say that most people ( even those that claim they always rate to style) have positive rating bias towards their favorite styles and negative bias towards styles they don't prefer as much. But Im fine with that. I mean theres a reason that in general IS's have higher ratings than, say AALs. They are far superior beers. The best AAL in the world would hardly compare to an even mediocre RIS. Why should it get a 5/5 if its only a mediocre beer in the scheme of things. I do take style into account when rating beers, but I dont think rate to style should be the end all be all.
  11. tewaris

    tewaris Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2009 Minnesota

    Oh hell no! I am going by the rental car definition... Aveo, Echo etc. You feel?
  12. Etan

    Etan Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    Try to rate purely to style. If you find yourself incapable of appreciating the style for what it is, don't rate it.

    Having said that, there's probably a bit of a skew higher in styles that I really like. It's not a huge deal, as long as it's a minor deviation.
  13. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,044) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    The ones I listed were actually my compact rental car options for my last trip to Germany. Went with the BMW 1-Series and got upgraded to a 330 turbo diesel. Still got passed by blacked out Corvettes on the Autobahn, but never felt inferior somehow....
    yemenmocha likes this.
  14. OakedCanuck

    OakedCanuck Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2009 Washington

    The scores are directly proportional to the distance between the person's house and the brewery.
    danoble1 likes this.
  15. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (720) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    What if the brewer doesn't put a style on it?

    What style guidelines are you using?

    Should historical origins trump modern trends? Vice versa?

    What if one beer is clearly superior to the others in the style but it does not fit the style description as well as others?

    Can you truly give a style born out of compromise (Light beer) all 5's?

    If you choose to rate, rate with your eyes, nose, taste buds, gut, and heart. Don't let all the other noise ruin it for you.
    danoble1 and beerandcycling88 like this.
  16. JimKal

    JimKal Zealot (512) Jul 31, 2011 North Carolina

    In the best of worlds, ratings would be by style. But many of us BAs, myself included, don't have the palates to be beer judges. I use the reviews and ratings as my own personal guide to what I'm willing to go out and buy again. I've found that over time I may come to enjoy a particular beer better and will adjust the rating or review. There are certainly styles that I just don't seem to like and I tend not to buy those and hence don't rate them but when I do, it is usually low to remind me not to get it again. Perhaps this would be an argument for not including the ratings in the overall rating and to use only the reviews.
  17. jrbchef

    jrbchef Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2011 Connecticut

    Being also someone who enjoys cigars this same thing happens in the cigar world where "sit your ass down" strong cigars beat out better made milder cigars. Because of human nature it is very hard to rate beers strictly in there style. My wife would rate any sour lower than even Bud because she is not a fan of sours.

    An honest sentiment and practice if you ask me. I would never expect my wife to even review a sour knowing she has an aversion to them.
    From the original question, I think there should be a 5/5 Possible for each style in a perfect world. But with styles having such fuzzy definitions at times, and brewers like Sixpoint not even liking to "declare" a style for there beers, at least on there cans, I'm not holding my breath on this one.
  18. mudbug

    mudbug Defender (624) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    Lots of things come to mind here, One is that how can you make an objective decision of one beer over another when you haven't tried one? How can you say X beer rates as the best in it's style when you haven't tried all of the hundreds of other beers in that style? It's not a competition, you may find that you can have numerous very high scores in a single style. Another thing is the fallacy of rigid "style" rules. There is no such thing in the real beer world, especially in the US where flavors and brewing techniques produce more of a continuum of differences rather than clearly demarcated identities Numerous examples exist where the Brewer calls it "Style X" but BA's will lower it's rating because it doesn't adhere to their perceived idea of exactly what that style is, how many reviews have you seen that says in effect that it's an outstanding, tasty beer but because it is paler or darker or hoppier than what they think it ought to be it gets dinged? Lots! The final thing is why people review in the first place. Some are tickers adding beers like some kind of pokemon card game, others review only beers that excite them, preferring not to bother with beers that they no longer drink because they are bored with that type of beer. That's why there are so few AAL reviews as compared to IPA or Stout Reviews, Other people (like myself) use the ratings to build a personal database of their favorite beers, If it doesn't meet my personal criteria for a review I just move on to the next. Don't overthink it, it's just beer.
    JimKal likes this.
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