The score doesn't match the details.

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Longhorn08, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Aspirant (258) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    Here's what I mean. I recently read a review of Heady Topper, a beer I have never had, and found the scoring did not align with what was put in the explanation. This reviewer gave the beer a 2.5 across the board, and that's fine, but in the review they said the the beer looked really great and had a great nose. I get that the taste is the defining characteristic that sticks with us the longest, but the ratings are broken down into sections and should be treated as such. Now if you drink a beer and just shoot from the hip and say, its a 3 and mark it across the board with no explanation, you can do that even though I think this site is trying to get away from that, but don't drink a beer, say it's ass, give it an ass score, then talk about how great some of it attributes were in you write up.

    Anyone else ever see this?
  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,776) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Unfortunately, all the time.

  3. jonphisher

    jonphisher Disciple (347) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey

    Appearance for heady should be NA...:stuck_out_tongue:

    But to add to your point I make it a point not to do this. Even if it’s a beer I really do not like I would never dock from appearance if it looks good it looks good, etc. I feel like the opposite happens to for me with a some lagers I’ve reviewed. The taste and aroma is great but I sometimes dock for appearance. Granted I just started submitting reviews weekly not too long ago. But hey I’m trying...
  4. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Yes, and I assume it is a reviewer who would rather have just a single overall rating, so they just put their overall rating in every category.
    steveh likes this.
  5. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,580) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I can tell you this: if I ever get the chance to try Heady, it's going straight into the best IPA glass I own. Screw this "drink from the can" nonsense.
  6. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Aspirant (258) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    and I understand this approach, I do it myself as well. But when I do that I don’t add notes. I just say to myself, this overall experience was a XX and move on. I don’t say my overall experience was a 1.25 then rave about a specific aspect of the beer.
  7. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,548) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    And it's a pretty good looking beer, so long as you aren't completely against a little haze.
    Ocalafox and dcotom like this.
  8. StoutElk_92

    StoutElk_92 Poo-Bah (2,949) Oct 30, 2015 Massachusetts

    Everyone views the rating scale differently, and some people might think a 2.5 or 3 isn't a bad score out of 5. For me personally I don't rate beers under a 3.5 unless I think it is worse than a typical Sam Adams flavor which is usually around average for me for their more standard beers from the past, not their best beers which I usually rate over a 4. Not many beers at all get under a 3 rating unless I really don't like it, like Yuengling Traditional or Shipyard Pumpkin Head, which are both on the cusp of a 3 for me. I don't even rate under a 4 unless I really think the beer is not very good, but for some people a 4 rating is a prized possession. Everyone rates differently, I've learned to deal with it. But yes, it's annoying when I see well known good beers get horrible ratings, especially when it seems like the person enjoyed it. Everyone is different though so whatever, a rating is basically someone's opinion.

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,048) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    Dumbassery is everywhere, not just here.
    beergoot, Junior, REVZEB and 3 others like this.
  10. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,087) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Simply trying to chalk up a number of reviews likely contributes to poor reviewing.
    LeRose, mickyge, beergoot and 6 others like this.
  11. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Yea, it happens. If there is something that seem particularly egregious or concerning (all 1s, or all 5s, but clearly not matching the review) then you can always report the review and the Mod team will review it for any potential abuse of the system.
    beergoot, Junior, dcotom and 4 others like this.
  12. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,833) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    When I see a review like that I look at when the reviewer joined BA, and often I see a fairly new member, thus I can presume it is probably also a new drinker who doesn't understand the process of assigning scores to each trait that makes sense.
  13. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    The one that drives me the craziest is when people describe a beer (usually a lager) as "the best *less common style here* I've ever had!" And then proceeds to give it a 4 or even less sometimes.
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,776) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    But, if the style calls for haziness the appearance score should reflect that.

    So many reviewers score to their own (usually false) perceptions when they should be studying the characteristics of the style.
  15. Houser

    Houser Defender (640) Sep 10, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I mean, the drink from the can thing for heady means they knew the beer was ugly back when cloudy was considered bad for the style. Now with haze being accepted and arguably preferred, i see no reason to drink from the can. They (alchemist) were trying to protect appearance from detracting points for the overall rating of the taste of the beer. Is this is obvious, my apologies.
    KRug, beergoot, Junior and 5 others like this.
  16. micada

    micada Zealot (504) Jul 13, 2015 New York

    ...or were they suggesting that the aroma and/or flavor profile is better from the can, e.g. more bitterness?

    I never had a HT, so I don’t have a personal reference for just how “ugly” this beer looks.
    KRug, beergoot and Junior like this.
  17. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,286) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    I rate to style. I wish more BAs would do the same.

    That being said, there are more good to great beers available now than ever before. Maybe old heads need to adjust our expectations? Are you damn kids ruining it for everyone? I dunno. Good IPAs are a dime a dozen now, lagers are getting there, but a well made mild or dubbel? That's worth noting.
  18. traction

    traction Defender (637) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    I believe there was an interview with the owners of Alchemist where they addressed this and said that the reason it will canned is because of the floaties in the beers and thought they might scare people away. The HT I had didn't look bad but the Focal Banger had tons of stuff (yeast?) from top to bottom in the glass. It looked chunky almost

    I know this isn't the controversial beer opinions thread but personally I find them both highly overrated. We all have different tastes obviously
    KRug, beergoot, Junior and 3 others like this.
  19. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,548) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    I understand this line of thinking, since it's how judges review beer.

    This won't be a popular opinion, but I've always had an issue with that, seeing as (just using myself as an example here) I am not a judge, or a professional, nor do I have a refined palate. I also don't feel I need to do "research" before writing a review on a beer. I'm not a beer expert, I simply enjoy it and enjoy writing reviews about the beers I drink.

    Rating to style would feel phony to me if I was doing it. "I hate this beer, but it meets all the criteria of a good representation of the style, so I'm going to give it a 4/5."
    MikeWard, KRug, Junior and 3 others like this.
  20. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,171) Apr 21, 2014 Canada

    It isn’t quite as cut and dry here, but on the now sister site, you know a lager that gets 3.7 bottle caps or higher on average is likely world class and far superior to an average pastry stout that only gets 4.45.....
    lucius10, KRug, bluejacket74 and 6 others like this.
  21. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (5,255) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    All the time.

    I see reviews that confuse me frequently. ("It's OK, barely passable. 4.25.") Not much you can do about that; reviewing and rating is a way to attempt to objectively capture the subjective. Even with the Bros. clearly advertising a guide on ratings (and a "How to rate," entry), people are going to have their own take on things.

    Is a really tasty, but fairly average, NE IPA a 3.0 because it's average? Or 4.0 because it's really tasty? Or somewhere in between? Every reviewer is going to have his or her own little tweak on that. In the long run, it should all average out; that's the beauty of numbers.

    If you think someone is abusing the ratings, please report it. Some people, quite frankly, have an agenda - personal or professional. We can't (nor should we) stop people from having their own opinion and deviation on ratings. We absolutely can and will stop people from straight up abusing the ratings system.
    lucius10, mickyge, KRug and 9 others like this.
  22. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,286) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Why even rate anything if you don't try to figure out what it's supposed to be. Dog and pony shows even rate to breed.

    I'm glad you enjoy beer. That is what brings us all together on this site. There is, however, a reason why the beer advocate is far behind the wine connoisseur, and a lot of it is the fact that folks don't appreciate things for what they are.

    If you can't appreciate a beer for what it should be, remove yourself from reviewing those styles.

    Tickers gonna tick, and I sorta understand that, but beer styles evolved to fill niches. Does a beer fill the niche? Good rating. If what it's stated goal doesn't fill the niche? Poor rating.

    If all of the beers you enjoy are either over the top fruity Hazy NEIPAs or super sticky pastry stouts, good on you. I won't take that away from you. If you can't appreciate the moderate gravity classics, though, don't yuck our yums. Those beers actually are harder to brew.
    #22 MrOH, Oct 2, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  23. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,548) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    The snobbishness here is astronomical.
    KRug, Houser and jonphisher like this.
  24. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,776) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Seems the reverse-snobbery runs pretty high too.

    Why not understand why so many BAs get so deep into beer? We understand why you don't want to -- and we're just answering your queries based on our reasons why we got into beer. You don't want to follow that path, fine. But don't insult us for our honesty.
    mickyge, bsp77, imnodoctorbut and 9 others like this.
  25. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,722) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    A lot of other people (I'd say 90% plus around here) don't have the palate or knowledge to know when someone has *nailed* a kolsch. Do we want people who have the equivalent of a McDonald's palate trying to finesse the finer points of such a lovely, delicate beer? It's simply not possible. You'd almost need to spend some time in Cologne to understand such a thing (which I have - good lord I sound insufferable). The average BA on the street can try to understand what it should taste like, but it's likely they really don't know.

    I do agree that if you don't like a style of beer, don't review it. For this reason I rarely if ever review sours or saisons anymore - just not my thing.
  26. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    If you hate the beer style, why are you reviewing it?
    nc41, mickyge, MrOH and 2 others like this.
  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,776) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    This is a good question, but I've also re-tried the styles I don't really care for (very few) just to see if I may have had a palate shift -- but I still rate to style and the Kriek in my glass will get a fair review based on what the beer is supposed to be.
  28. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    With regards to reviewing (and rating) beers to style on BA - please remember that while you may have your own opinions on whether or not that should be the case or how efficacious it is, the official BA guidelines for reviewing/rating beer is that style should be taken into account to the best of the reviewers ability.

    @MrOH @ScaryEd
    mickyge, KRug, beergoot and 7 others like this.
  29. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I actually drink rauchbiers and enjoy (some of) them after 4 or 5 years of reviewing them to style because I gained an appreciation for the good ones.
    nc41, KRug, beergoot and 4 others like this.
  30. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,960) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Society Trader

    Based on a quick check of the Heady reviews it appears like the review in question was from an account created today, only beer reviewed.
    mickyge, KRug, beergoot and 3 others like this.
  31. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Initiate (99) Aug 24, 2020 California

    I am sure the ranges of opinions here and commitment to a current viewpoint are second only to opinions about national politics. However, my conclusion from reading the guidance on BA is that beers are supposed to be rated to style. Styles are described on this site and easily reviewable with little effort. Those definitions serve as a resource that contributes to consistent benchmarks for comparison. A beer rating number that mainly reflects an undefined personal preference that may bear little resemblance to style standard does no one any good. What I wish for is an indication in the ratings like what is done by Total Wines in their reviews, i.e., the rater has to indicate their own assessment of their level of expertise so that readers can choose to weigh the comments of a connoisseur differently from those of a novice. I know that some could argue that the beer karma level somewhat does that but, for example, while I feel pretty competent at rating IPAs and stouts, my confidence at accurately judging a saison or pilsner is significantly lower, regardless of anything I have or don't have in karma points. Maybe in addition to offering the opportunity to assign rating scores without commentary, BA should allow commentary without assigning points in beer ratings. That way someone who has no clue about or cares little about how a beer measures up against a style standard can still supply observations without skewing the numeric rating.
    bret27, beergoot, MrOH and 3 others like this.
  32. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,776) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Should be reported?
    jhavs likes this.
  33. imtroy703

    imtroy703 Devotee (406) Nov 13, 2009 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Yea, subjective-ness stinks, is tasteless and myopic for sure.
    MrOH likes this.
  34. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,776) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I was going to post that everyone should read Todd's post on reviewing -- thanks for adding the link.
    mickyge, MrOH, Junior and 2 others like this.
  35. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,548) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    I don't hate any beer style. I'm open to anything and everything with regards to beer. But since I'm not an expert on every style (or any style, for that matter) how am I to judge what truly constitutes as a legitimate representation of the style, even if I like the style?

    I have 10 reviews/ratings on Schwarzbiers. I have no clue what truly constitutes a "good" or "traditional" representation of that style, other than what BA offers. But it's a style I have come to greatly appreciate, mostly because I love how they look and taste. Mönchshof Schwarzbier is legitimately one of my top 15 beers of all time. Is that worthy of the 4.84 rating I gave it? I have no idea. I just know it's an amazing beer to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  36. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,548) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    What is "reverse-snobbery"? Someone who hates snobbery? Well. Guilty as charged.

    It wasn't necessarily the best way to respond, as we're trying to have a mature conversation here. So to that end I do apologise.

    But I'd say I'm "deep" into beer. Not as much as others, certainly. I'm not a "ticker" either btw. I don't think writing a full review for a beer counts as ticking.
    beergoot and Houser like this.
  37. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,548) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    I didn't even know this existed. Thank you for posting this.

    I'll definitely try to keep this in mind going forward.
    FBarber likes this.
  38. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    #38 MNAle, Oct 2, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
    ScaryEd and steveh like this.
  39. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I was going by the part of your post I quoted... a beer you hate but would be a 4/5 to style. That you hate a very good representative of the style would indicate you hate the style. If I misunderstood, sorry.
    ScaryEd likes this.
  40. beer_beer

    beer_beer Disciple (386) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    Luckily I have freedom when rating/reviewing. NA beers are all supposed to be one style :grin: