Posting reviews without text to back it up

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by hottenot, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. hottenot

    hottenot Aspirant (211) Aug 13, 2018 North Carolina

    It really gets my goat that people will drag a beer down with just a number review as to why this is so.

    Is there any way to stop numerical reviews because people are too lazy to post any content? This is really annoying. Like, come on dude are you that lazy?:angry:
  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,578) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew

    Reviews without text have been a part of the site for around a decade, and it doesn't mean that people are being lazy. It's a core feature for those who don't want to provide text for one reason or another.
  3. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Aspirant (225) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    It’s a way I keep track just for myself as to if I liked a beer or not. I totally forgot I had a DFH 120 a few years ago and almost bought one recently. Did a quick check to find I personally didn’t like the beer and gave it a poor score, subsequently saving myself money and bought a different beer. It’s not always about helping others, but keeping track for myself.
  4. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (4,663) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    While this is understandable and there is no way to police “for me,” there is the concept of advocacy here which many take as being objective in ratings/reviews. For established beers (like DFH 120), a tremendously high or low rating (for whatever reason) will be averaged out.

    I would hope for newer beers with less reviews, BAs would be cognizant of their objectivity versus subjectivity as it relates to being a guide to others. We all use the site differently, though, and both “sides” should realize this difference when using it.

  5. beer_beer

    beer_beer Aspirant (228) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    The numbers are a good way to start, before knowing more and being confident enough to share it verbally or even know, like me for example.

    And you can choose the option not to see the numbers without reviews. Call it a win-win.
  6. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I expect that a fair number of people never post reviews because they don't feel qualified. Reviewers sometimes identify 20 or more smells or flavors, and go on and on about the look and feel. My sense of smell sucks due to heavy solvent exposure when I was young, so I was at first reluctant to review. Then I realized that even those with long detailed reviews are reporting subjectively, and no review is "correct". Some folks are totally full of crap, almost like they drank a completely different beer - but still, it's their opinion.

    Forcing folks to review would seriously hurt the site, as few that don't review would start doing it. Most would just stop participating and maybe start reviewing on another site.
  7. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,225) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I see rating as a way for members to contribute without having to write a full review which is something not everybody is comfortable with.
  8. AllOfTheCats

    AllOfTheCats Aspirant (219) Mar 27, 2018 California

    This is commonplace for many websites and many apps. I've rated a lot of beers on BA without providing any description because I'm porting over from another rating app.

    I personally dislike being forced to write a full description, especially over a certain number of characters, in order to post the review.

    I also find it much easier to write a review on BA while I am drinking the beer. If I'm rating the next day, week, month, etc. - any time retroactively, I may not remember all of the details of the beer, especially if I had multiple tasters or beers on one occasion, and so I pull the best that I can from memory, which may just be a rating.
    Buckeye55, BJB13, meanmutt and 5 others like this.
  9. TheRougeBastard

    TheRougeBastard Champion (883) Aug 22, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    In all honesty...yes, occasionally, I am just that lazy! There are those times I don't have the motivation to put "pen to paper" and draft a well-crafted, articulate review. I love the number ratings, it lets me give a personal two bits of what I'm drinking at that moment, quick and easy! Besides, the only thing a written review gives you is the writers if it's a particularly glowing review,with high number rating, it may make me want to seek something out even more, but that's about it. IMHO, don't see how a numbers review "drags a beer down"???? Prost!
  10. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I suppose you could say that less thought might - on average - go into it if you don't bother putting it to words. You see far more scores where they are 4 4 4 4 4 for example, than you would if it were a review. They don't want to worry about the individual ratings and just want to rate it 1-5 like they're on Amazon. I guess they don't necessary drag it down vs up, just that less thought might have gone into it.
    Buckeye55 and beergorrilla like this.
  11. TheRougeBastard

    TheRougeBastard Champion (883) Aug 22, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Makes sense...especially if, as you related, the ratings are one number across the board...that I typically won't do, unless I rate something a rare firewall 5.
    Mindcrime1000, bbtkd and mikeinportc like this.
  12. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Champion (884) Nov 4, 2015 New York

    Yeah. I tend to review those with few to no reviews, to help prospective imbibers of the beer in question. Hoping they get some idea what to expect. Then they can guess whether that appeals to them. Or not.
    If it has hundreds, or thousands of reviews, I figure mine isn't going to help much, so just rate it. I have seen some where most/all of the recent reviews didn't reflect my experience, so did do a review. Ex : a gose or Berliner weisse whose last several reviews are by people that don't like sour styles. I do it just to give it a fair shot. ("Respect Beer" , eh? :wink:)
    My situation, at first.
    Which is what I do. :wink:

    This^. :smirk:

    All that said, I generally don't go by the #s , when considering whether to purchase a beer under consideration. I look at beers that I have had, then see whose assessment , in character, not just numbers, is the same/similar to my impressions. Then I look at their "Beers" , & assessment of the unknown-to-me beer, if that person has had it. Doing that periodically, has led me to look for certain known BAs in the reviews .
    #12 mikeinportc, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  13. Mindcrime1000

    Mindcrime1000 Crusader (733) Apr 30, 2016 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I try to do a review for every rating, but have to admit my "style" pales in comparison to the beer meisters who can detect all of the various subtle things going on. For that reason, I don't blame folks for just posting a number. Plus, sometimes it's tough to do one. A full review can take some time. I can't do one on my phone without seventy typos.
  14. johnInLA

    johnInLA Champion (838) Jun 12, 2005 California


    Some of us relate more to numbers then descriptions. If you really want to put meaning behind the numbers you could look at the person's other ratings and you will get a sense of their bias. But that may not work for a lazy observer.

    Numerical ratings have real value. This site uses roughly the same rating system as the BJCP. But who could trust a system used by lazy beer judges.

    As for myself, with 2895 personal ratings as of tonight, most of which I have filed rating scorecards, I'll admit I rate here sparingly and review even less. Some of it is constraints on my time, but other factors are I won't publish a public review unless it is under conditions that are fair to the brewer, such as, a clean palette, a bottle that was properly stored, poured into appropriate glassware, and served at the right temperature, Admittedly, I also weigh the value of my review or rating to the BA community, putting emphasis on beers with limited ratings/reviews and/or where I disagree with the trend. I tend add a review when I want to emphasize my rating.

    Not sure how I got so lazy in reviewing/lazy beers after more the 20 years of drinking craft beer.
    #14 johnInLA, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    DBosco, TrojanRB and GreenBayBA like this.
  15. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Aspirant (225) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    Also can’t help but notice you have some beers that are just number rated......
  16. hottenot

    hottenot Aspirant (211) Aug 13, 2018 North Carolina

    Fixed Just For YOU!
    mikeinportc and JayWhitson like this.
  17. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,622) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I went through a fairly short period of rating by numbers only. Now, if I can revisit those beers, I will write reviews so I can either back up those numbers or refute them...
  18. JayWhitson

    JayWhitson Champion (829) Feb 25, 2015 Montana
    Society Trader

    I agree with this in part. Maybe have a median score, such as if your average is 2.5 or below (a negative rating in my opinion) then it wouldn’t let you post the review until you added the 140 character written review as to what was wrong with it. Somebody put work in to brew this beer, don’t just knock it because it’s “too hoppy” and you’re “not an IPA fan”.
    mikeinportc, dcotom and beergorrilla like this.
  19. Bruinsfan87

    Bruinsfan87 Disciple (311) Aug 25, 2014 New Hampshire

    Personally, I would love to rate it as the pros do on this site however I have a busy schedule between managing beer for two stores, kids, wife and so on. When I drink beer i just leave a quick review. That and I'm nowhere near as descriptive.
    mikeinportc and beergorrilla like this.
  20. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,833) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    What’s to figure out if the overall review was 4.5? He loved it, same if it goes the other way, you see a 2.5 not so much. You just have to remember that a good many do not rate to style, you'll find a ton of ipas hitting the top scores, but about zilch on say lagers or Pils even if they’re clearly world class. I don’t really do reviews, but on threads Ike new beer Sunday I’ll often give a ballpark number to reflect my opinion and a really brief review. I really don’t care to add 1000 adjectives to a beer.
  21. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,787) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I will say that I partially agree with ya here. In cases where the rating is much higher or lower than the average score Id personally prefer to see the reasoning for such a different score. But keep in mind that one outlying rating isn't going to change the score substantially thats why I generally don't care all that much about ratings.
    mikeinportc likes this.
  22. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Depends on how many ratings there are. One outlier can hugely influence the average if there are only a few ratings. This impacts local breweries most, since they'll have more limited distribution and ratings as compared to breweries distributed nationwide.
  23. GOBLIN

    GOBLIN Meyvn (1,385) Mar 3, 2013 Ohio
    Society Trader

    For some this is simply a hobby that many want to enjoy without overthinking it. Besides I've read some pretty ridiculous reviews where the reviewer would have been better off taking the lazy route.
  24. ssimpson89

    ssimpson89 Defender (620) Jul 24, 2009 Illinois

    Sometimes I add some comments, sometimes I don’t. I don’t put much stock in ratings with less than 100. Once you get a decent sample size it will average out to what it should be. The numbers become more relevant than the comments.

    I do think the highest rated beers are over rated and the lowest are underrated due to style bias. We can’t expect someone to rate a beer objectively on a style they love or hate.

    I agree that it’s also a personal record on whether I liked the beer or not. I can’t remember all the beers I’ve tried, so I too use it for that. This is where style bias comes into play with a large number of reviews. My love/dislike of a style is likely offset by someone with an opposite opinion.
    mikeinportc likes this.
  25. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,787) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    True, but a review of that same beer can usually balance it back out.
    bbtkd likes this.
  26. Milktoast75

    Milktoast75 Devotee (451) Oct 27, 2012 Wisconsin

    Several times I’ve sat down with a beer thinking: I will rate this one for sure.
    Beer? Check.
    Glass? Check.
    iPad? Check.
    By the time I sat down and opened up my iPad? Screw it.
    Just wasn’t into it. I was really enjoying the beer and didn’t want to think too much about it.
    I try to leave a written review but after reading this thread,
    I won’t feel as guilty with just a number review when I’m not in a creative mood.
  27. joe1510

    joe1510 Poo-Bah (3,533) Aug 21, 2006 Illinois

    Is there a difference in weight on the beers average score based on actual reviews compared to numerical ratings?

    Has this been going on for 10 years now? Time flies, I guess, but that doesn't seem correct to me.

    10 years ago the forums were of the tiered variety, no? If I remember correctly, only minimum character reviews were allowed because BA didn't want to become Ratebeer. And that's what was admirable. Untappd changed that, right?
    #27 joe1510, Mar 31, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  28. beergorrilla

    beergorrilla Meyvn (1,287) Feb 21, 2012 Michigan

    im not inerested to read a novel about how great or shitty u find a beer @hottenot your opinion nor anyone elses on this site influences my descion either way to buy a beer or pass on it,or how i decide to rate a beer, i like to go in blind, make my own rating which is only for my personal use.
    GOBLIN likes this.
  29. beergorrilla

    beergorrilla Meyvn (1,287) Feb 21, 2012 Michigan

    also this was your review @hottenot way to add to the knowledge of the community. if these are your reviews stick to a number rating bruh
    eldoctorador, GOBLIN and joe1510 like this.
  30. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,029) Sep 24, 2007 Montserrat

    Yes. Yes, they are that lazy. Nothing to be done about it though.
    VoodooBear, mikeinportc and joe1510 like this.
  31. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,429) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    If you stop the numerical reviews what do you think will happen to those who want to use the new BA app when it is released? It may be a set-up for it to fail. Just wondering.
    mikeinportc and Bitterbill like this.
  32. NickSMpls

    NickSMpls Meyvn (1,108) Nov 11, 2012 Washington
    Society Trader

    Every beer we review, we do at home. When encountering a new brew when going out, we use a numerical only rating because it's easier and faster. Adding a word or three slides through without being posted. Keeps the beer total ticking up and lets us know we've had it. When we can have it at home, we'll give it the full monty.
  33. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (1,848) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    I try to review as much as I can, but if I have a new beer at a brewery or bar I'm not going to sit there on my phone plugging away a review.

    As much as I'd love to have 100% reviews of the beers I've had, it's just not possible.
  34. Sarah_Bearah

    Sarah_Bearah Initiate (177) Feb 5, 2019 California
    Society Trader

    Sometimes I post a review with no text because I intend to add text later (don't want to be on my phone too long when I'm out with friends or my husband) and it's easier to keep track of what I have tried that day if I already have it saved under "my beers"
    mikeinportc and TrojanRB like this.
  35. SMH_NWI

    SMH_NWI Devotee (409) Jan 8, 2015 Texas

    Yeah... I’ve been in a shop before where I’ll reference a beer score because I was interested in the beer bc I saw it on the WBYDN thread. I never read reviews anyway, especially not in a situation where I’m at the store.

    Keep with the scores-only option. If you want to review, by all means, do so.
    mikeinportc and PapaGoose03 like this.
  36. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,572) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    I am sorry to reply, as I understand where you are coming from, but as a solid review guy who finds numbers meaningless in the real world of using them to make beer buying decisions I couldn't let the things that bugged me in your post go without.

    You say you don't have the time to write a review, but say the problem is with people who should take the time to track down the history of someone who only leaves a number, so as to try to make sense of the number. Really? You have no time to describe what you are drinking, but we all have plenty of time to track down your history to try to make sense of a number that you left? You say you want conditions to be perfect for giving a review, which just underlines my point, as even you assume that a review demands an honesty that numbers leaving doesn't. And just so you know, I am not the only one who thinks, when we see a number only, it was left by the kind of person who might have said, "This IIPA sucks, it's kind of bitter and I really hate bitter beers" if they'd left a review.
  37. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,722) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Society Trader

    The new App in Beta makes writing reviews pretty dang easy. It seems like it will lead to a higher percentage of beers being reviewed.
  38. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,661) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I understand your view but for some they may feel better just posting numbers. Maybe they cannot put into words how they perceive a beer but can in numbers, etc. I am ok with numbers so long as they are not all 1s or 5s, then its just a spam post in my eyes. But if someone takes time to enter numbers and they sort of jive with the pack then I am ok with it. I would encourage people to add a review but I don't think it should be forced in order to log a beer.
    mikeinportc likes this.
  39. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (789) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    Who says rating with only a numbers results in a LOWER score?

    When I was writing full reviews on the site I found that the more I wrote and scrutinized each aspect of the beer, it resulted in a slightly lower score. Aka. Firestone Anniversary beers (my favorite series every year) usually getting around 4.5-4.6 with a review. But wait, I love those beers, they're 5's. I guess not? :astonished::wink:
    mikeinportc and FBarber like this.
  40. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,833) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    While I agree with @Millerhighlife in that I'd like to see at least something, anything that explains a beer ('darker than expected', 'hazy for a Pilsner', 'very dry finish', etc.), I'm also OK with just numbers because without that option a lot of people just won't post reviews, and I believe that in the end the numbers work out fairly well if enough people chime in.