Monday, August 16, 2010

Dreaming of beer, and a Rant against ratings.

So I sit here thinking about the beers that I can't wait to drink in the future.  Checking out people's Top Whatever lists, looking for some hidden gems. So naturally, I start thinking about mid-January when I can begin drinking Nugget Nectar again.  My mind continues to wonder, so I decide to go to Beer Advocate and check up on the reviews.  The first review kind of blew my mind:
"Appearance was typical beer yellow with half inch head that lasted fairly long. Aroma was mostly citrus, especially grapefruit with piney notes. Flavor was pure hop bitterness with a touch of the grapefruit. Way too bitter! Mouthfeel was light to medium but balanced over the palate. Drinkability is low, it's just way too bitter, a real hop bomb. NOT recommended!"

It starts off with a description that I never heard of before (or saw as I have drank cases of this beer).  "Typical beer yellow"?  I have never seen a beer yellow NN- ever.  The Aroma and Flaver are spot on.  Yes, NN is mostly citrus- grapefruit and pine in the nose.  Yes, it is pure hop bitterness- have you seen the awesome label.

But then this person* goes off the deep end.  The lines- "Way too bitter!" and "NOT recommended" took me for surprise.  I must also note that this guy gave the beer a D.   D?!?!?!? How is that possible.  Then I came to my senses and thought about his remarks.  If you don't like hop bombs, or big Amber (Double IPA) ales, then no you won't like this beer.  But if you don't like those styles, why would you even pick it up? Again, did you not look at the label when you bought the bottle?

This reinforces my feelings about the overall ratings of the beers on Rate Beer and Beer Advocate.  I love the reviews, love other blogger's reviews and the such, but this guys D rating influences the overall score when he outlines exactly why it has an overall A rating.  I try my best to rate the beers to style.  I do not really like Scottish beers, I know this.  If I rate one on a rating site, I judge it based on what it should taste like, not whether or not I like the beer.

So anywho, I cannot wait to taste the sweet nectar from the gods again.  Are there any beers that you cannot wait to get again?

*this reviewer was all over the book on his other reviews as well.  Maybe it is inexperience, maybe he has a load of bad bottles.  I don't know, but I will not take his reviews for what they're worth.


  1. I take most ratings with a pinch of salt due to the subjective nature of them, however I had to laugh the other day when some said he thought a British IPA wasn't as hoppy as an American Pale Ale, yet on closer inspection it was the British IPA which was hoppier in IBU terms, but he was conditioned to thing hoppiness = grapefruit.

  2. @Velky Al those are the types that make my day be full of laughs, and reminds me that there are a lot of people out there that need to drink more good beer and have a long way to go

  3. I always found the whole process of giving a grade or assigning a number to beers a little wacky. Suffice it to say, no grade or low number will ever stop me from drinking a beer.

  4. @Ryan - there are very few beers that I wont try

  5. Totally agree, though usually I've found it's the opposite. I tend to like maltier beers that weren't as hoppy, but most of BA's ratings heavily favor the hoppier stuff.