Re-rating beers a decade later

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by ZenAgnostic, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. ZenAgnostic

    ZenAgnostic Meyvn (1,198) Jan 27, 2011 Texas

    Now that I've been on this site over a decade I find myself accidentally re-rating beers I've forgotten I've already had. And that allows me to blindly compare the way my ratings and reviews have evolved.

    Maybe it's because I'm already a few beers in but, I think I've gotten lazy over the years. After comparing notes, I think my first review was more spot on. Anyone one else experience a re-rating?

    for reference, my review of
    Chicken Killer Barley Wine

    ZenAgnostic from Texas

    Original rating Jan 5, 2012.

    1 pint 6 oz bottle poured into a Duvel snifter. No date.

    Appearance - Medium brown, cloudy to the point of near total opacity. Tan pancake batter head with fine lacking that slides off momentarily; decent to good retention.

    Smell - Vinous. Oaky. Sweet like fresh fruit. Apple cider. Smooth and inoffensive.

    Taste - Leather. Yeasty. Relatively dry apple cider. Hides its alcohol well.

    Mouthfeel - Slight alcoholic bite. Mildly solvent. Astringency is pretty minimal.

    Overall Drinkability - Very smooth. Nt very complex, but very drinkable for the style. Deceptive alcohol. Not very

    4.03/5 rDev +8.3%
    look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


    re-rating June 13, 2021, about 9.5 years later.

    16oz can poured into Duvel tulip. Hatched on 04/08/21 printed on bottom rim of can, so it's 2 months old.

    Appearance - Opaque dark orange-brown body with small tan head. Decent to good lacing and stick, but only decent stick. 4.25 (-0.25 from previous)

    Smell - Very malty without any darkness to it. Just robust straight malt. 4 (exact as before)

    Taste - Actually pretty smooth for what I'd expect from the style. Alcohol isn't exactly hidden but it feels maybe a couple percent lower than it actually is. 4.25 (+0.25 from previous)

    Mouthfeel - Fairly clean. Medium bodied. 4.5 (+0.5 from previous)

    Overall - Very smooth and drinkable. 4.5 (+0.5 from previous)
  2. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,109) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I've always said a review is just a snapshot in time; one experience with that beer at that time, in that place. You could review a beer, from the same batch, two weeks apart and have different experiences.

    You're different than you were ten years ago, and the beer is too. It's fun to look at, but don't put too much weight in the differences.
  3. defunksta

    defunksta Meyvn (1,160) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota

    I do many re-ratings. I find that trying a beer multiple times helps you understand it better. Takes about at least 3-5 tries to get a good impression. Many beers, I do muchmore. Often times my reviews contradict. I make sure to date each new review on BeerAdvocate so I can compare the difference. If collectively and repeatedly there is a difference, then I update my rating. Comparing to your previous notes, I think encourages learning, palate training, and greater beer education. I promote it!
    kemoarps, lucius10, Junior and 7 others like this.
  4. ZenAgnostic

    ZenAgnostic Meyvn (1,198) Jan 27, 2011 Texas

    That has always been my logic, but once I've actually compared my reviews it just seems like my palate has gotten lazy. Am I the only one. Is being 3 pints in a factor? Kinda feels like maybe things are getting rote.
    Junior, defunksta and Premo88 like this.
  5. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (455) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    There's so many things that could affect a rating - from the batch variation, storage conditions, age of the beer, your own palate, what you ate that day, how many you've had before, etc.
    kemoarps, Whyteboar, Premo88 and 2 others like this.
  6. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,976) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    I’ve actually done this a few times lately too (re-reviewing a beer I had already reviewed and forgotten). I’ve found that for the most part the descriptions and ratings have stayed pretty close—naturally I probably score a little lower than I used to, because the more beers you’ve had the fewer rank at the highest echelons. But it’s also true that both we and the beers change and evolve over time, so overthinking it probably isn’t very useful. For me the main thing is to force yourself to really pay attention to what you’re drinking and focus on the various aspects of the beer for a little bit before you just relax and enjoy it.
  7. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,909) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    I picked up a 4pack of Grolsch yesterday. Low and behold, it is now a Premium Pilsner vs a Premium Lager. When the hell did that happen??

    Anywho, I would rate it higher than what I did in the past. I kinda like the hop profile and the malt ain't too shabby either.
  8. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (7,690) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Society Trader

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  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,216) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Because the word "Pilsner" sells better!?! :thinking_face:

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  10. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,909) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Why would it? Amongst the uncleaned masses?
    Junior likes this.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,216) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I really do not have a 'definitive' answer here since I am not a commercial beer industry person.

    FWIW I do see a lot of BAs post about how they like and wish that more Pilsners were brewed. I doubt that BA discussions have great influence as regards beer industry marketing but maybe some influence?

    Perhaps you have a 'better' answer here?

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  12. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,909) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Average beer drinker reads Pilsner. What?
    Average beer drinker reads Lager. Yeah, baby.
    ZebulonXZogg likes this.
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,216) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Maybe non-average beer drinkers are willing to pay more and this is the reason for the change of labeling? :confused:

    Bitterbill likes this.
  14. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,909) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Very possible. I don't know when they made the label change but perhaps it smelled more like victory?
  15. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    #15 steveh, Jun 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,216) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Rut roh! :grimacing:

    Maybe a lawsuit coming !?! :astonished:

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  17. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,909) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    I knew you would go there. I was going more for a Robert Duvall quote.
  18. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    That gasoline smell?

    Same thing, isn't it? :grin:
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  19. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,909) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    For green bottle BS, it is actually pretty good. Put it in brown bottles like Pilsner Urquell and whoa; the ratings would jump!
    Redrover, kemoarps and Whyteboar like this.
  20. defunksta

    defunksta Meyvn (1,160) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota

    That is a good point. I also do my ratings somewhat fasted so that I'm hungry. I've noticed my sense of smell and taste is more attune. I eat very minimally during the day before a beer review. Also completely sober so that my mind is clear. There's so many factors that can influence your rating on a beer so I try as best I can to minimize the distractions and keep the consistency.
    Things definitely change from batch to batch and over time though. It's an evolving practice and not for perfectionists.
    skivtjerry and ZenAgnostic like this.
  21. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (8,893) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I revisit my beer ratings and adjust my scores accordingly because palates change and evolve. (like you said) Goes to show ya how subjective reviews are and how the palate is never static. :slight_smile: I've tweaked my scores over the years as well. On the other hand, I also know people who tic beers and move on with no intentions of re-visiting a beer. My question is who contributes more to the overall beer review vs. a "hit and run" ?
    #21 jzeilinger, Jun 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
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  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Grolsch is a weird one because they used brown bottles back when -- at least for the flip-tops. Then they followed the trend to green. It's another beer to be careful with.

    I had a friend who always said, "Someone open a Grolsch?" If we were on the road and a skunk had bought the farm. :wink:
  23. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (3,546) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana

    I'll do this on Untappd but I don't do it here. As we all know a lot of beers just aren't the same quality that they used to be. It can't all be blamed on changing palates. Recipes are scaled up and beers lose that same punch that they had before. If it isn't that, then a brewery is on the fifth or sixth different brewer to brew that same beer since it was first introduced. This happens all the time to both everyday beers and limited releases alike. I still remember when Bell's told me that they were about to hit a million bottles of Hopslam years ago. The beer went from being a beer I had to have every a case of every year to a beer that I won't even purchase.
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  24. MacMalt

    MacMalt Poo-Bah (5,114) Jan 28, 2015 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I don't go out of my way to re-rate beers but have no issue when I or anyone else do so. If a beer continues to be brewed, then what is the value of a 10 year old rating? When rating a beer one cannot help but factor in other beers of the style one has had. Perspective is important. Moreover, the beer itself may have changed over time. Occasionally, I've reviewed my ratings and if I see something I truly think isn't appropriate, then I have not problem with amending the review. Whenever appropriate I note the change in my review.
  25. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,951) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    I’ve edited some reviews where I find myself revisiting a beer 10 years later.

    I think a great addition to ba (which I think Todd has contemplated before) would be allowing multiple reviews of a beer.

    I think that would be useful. It would also be an added bonus if you got more beer karma for multiple reviews.

    that’s one appealing feature of untappd. That you can check in a beer more than once.
    It’s easy to hate the “tickers”, but It’s hard to contribute to this site if you drink the same beer all the time.
    #25 bret27, Jun 25, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
  26. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,291) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    pretty much this. I do a lot of Cellar Reviews and I always kind of chuckle at myself for comparing to my original Fresh Review which often times has been many years or even a decade earlier (yet I do it every single time). I still enjoy the experience of comparing a Cellar Review rating to an original rating, but I very much understand that there’s a lot of variables in play other than just how the beer developed over time. Pallet variations, changes in personal preference, batch variations, the actual development of the beer over the time it was in the cellar. All that being said it is still a fun exercise and I enjoy the comparison, in fact it’s become my favorite way to enjoy a beer.

    All of that to say that re-reviewing is fine, and can be fun! But we probably shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously (which could probably be said for almost anything in life).
  27. moodenba

    moodenba Zealot (500) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    I thought "Pilsener" lost its allure after it was misued and abused in early Lite Beer from Miller ads. Maybe Pilsener is making a comeback after all these years? As a counterpoint, I recently picked up a Lidl marketed Czech lager marketed as "Czech Lager", with the brand "Argus Majestic 12" hidden on the back in minuscule print. It's definitely a Pilsener style beer, but doesn't admit it. It almost doesn't admit its brand name.

    As for the reviews: I use them mainly for information about style. The ratings don't usually mean too much. The differences in the examples of if the initial poster are pretty consistent, with changes that one might expect. Oftentimes, when I re-review, the beer has changed. I did a review of a west-coast style IPA a few years ago; I picked up a few cans of the current version, and found it to be a hazy IPA. A repurposed brand.
  28. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,185) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I just had a 2018 Doggie Claws and I added some notes to my review of 2008 Doggie Claws that I did in 2009. I enjoyed the 2018 much more the one I initially reviewed. I have another bottle of the 2008 coming from Hair of the Dog and I'm very excited to revisit.
  29. colts9016

    colts9016 Poo-Bah (2,734) Jul 2, 2007 Idaho
    Society Trader

    I am going back and re-rate several of my old beers. Given the fact many beers do change from batches and it could effect the ratings. I still will re-evaluate those beers. I think my palate is more refined and I understand beer styles better. I will keep the old review in there and add a new one. Also I find it interesting that my reviews are developing more context and information.
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  30. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Champion (809) Oct 4, 2012 Virginia

    As Ed McMahon used to say to Johnny Carson, "You are correct, sir."
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  31. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Savant (909) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota

    I really like Grolsch as well. When I saw the Lager to Pils transition it became clear to me that I must now classify it as a "Lagner". :laughing: Cheers!
    Bitterbill likes this.
  32. ithacabaron

    ithacabaron Defender (611) Jul 16, 2003 California

    Grolsch is one of those beers that really loses something during the export process. Every time I've drank it in the US, it is a solid, if uninspiring brew, usually a bit overpriced in relation to quality. In the EU, however, it is terrific. I'm either subject to the suggestibility of my environment or the beer is just getting to me fresher . . . or both.
  33. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Savant (909) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota

    I must agree with you that there is a change in the taste. Wondering if the US has a pasteurization law for imported beer? Every time I've had premium brews in NL they're always more floral and just better. I guess some beers don't travel as well as others. But I still love me a couple icy swing tops! Heineken brewed in Cork Ireland in fantastic. Cheers!
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  34. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (488) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    There is no universal beer law; 50 states have 50 regulations. Well, 51 with DC.

    Import keg beer is pasteurized and it definitely makes a difference. Actually, a very big difference.

    Brewed and kegged in Europe.
    Trucked to exporter.
    Sits at a loading dock until transferred to a cargo ship. Not refrigerated.
    Sails the Atlantic. Not refrigerated.
    Unloads at Port and sits at a dock. Not refrigerated.
    Await customs inspection, paperwork.
    Trucked to wholesaler. Not refrigerated. Sits in warehouse until orders come through. Probably not refrigerated, perhaps but by now...
    Possibly resold to distro. Refrigerated.
    Sits in warehouse until orders come through.
    Arrives at your local German/English/Belgian etc. Beer Bar.

    5 months later and unknown temperature exposure, enjoy a cooked stale old European keg beer.

    European import keg beer is almost universally lousy. Bottle beer is typically a better option, and as for bottle condition import hands down not a comparison.

    Or, travel to Europe and see what all the fuss is about for yourself. I mean Bavaria. It will change your life.

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  35. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,896) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I've had similar experiences. I couldn't agree with @BBThunderbolt more - it's just a snapshot in time. My tastes have evolved a lot over the past decade. I love beer now that I hated back then. Palates are wonderful things!
    Squire likes this.
  36. ZebulonXZogg

    ZebulonXZogg Crusader (729) May 5, 2015 Illinois

    Tastes change. I wouldn't drink anything dark ten years ago except Negra Modelo. ( I hope I used the name correctly, I hate to offend people). Now I'm skeptical of anything that doesn't look like used motor oil.
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  37. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,320) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    When Grolsch first did their big ad campaign in the US in the late 1970s (below - 'snips' from 1978 ads) they advertised the beer - both in flip-tops and standard crowned T/A's, brown glass as @steveh noted above and the stoppers were porcelain, not plastic - was Kräusened (aka "naturally carbonated" in typical beer ad-speak), lagered for 3 months and unpasteurized.

    Unclear if it was microfiltered/sterile-filled but that would seem likely although they did not use the "draught/draft" terminology that was commonly used and then legal for US packaged beers treated in that manner.
    Being unpasteurized appears to be the implication behind that "Fresh Holland Beer" slogan but, as noted by @billandsuz most Grolsch and other Euro imports, given the logistics of beer importing, would not be what most would consider fresh today or even at the time.
    #37 jesskidden, Oct 15, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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  38. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,657) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I was very conservative when I first started reviewing and now tend to upgrade the scores when doing a re-review.