How I Rate Beer

I realize that rating something you primarily taste is subjective and one man’s outstanding is another woman’s cough syrup. However, you dear reader can put faith in the fact that when I rate beer, I try to do it as scientifically as possible, based on my own palate.

I know some people don’t like the taste of oranges or raisins or figs, but it seems like we can all agree on whether what we are tasting is either good or bad oranges, raisins or figs.

To rate beer, I have devised a rating sheet and a point scale. When I publish a review, a scan of the rating sheet will be included. The sheet contains four categories, each with subcategories of their own. These categories, in order of appearance, follow below with the amount of points they can be awarded:

-Appearance (up to 15 points)
-Aroma (up to 15 points)
-Flavor and Palate (up to 35 points)
-Drinkability and Overall Experience (up to 35 points)

Once the notes are taken, the points are added and the beer is rated on the following scale:

Classic: 95 to 100
Outstanding: 90 to 94
Very good to excellent: 80 to 89
Average to good commercial quality: 70-79

I don’t review beers lower than 70 points*; it’s simply a waste of my time and your money.

When it comes to actually doing the tasting, I have two ironclad rules that I will always follow:

1. Each beer I review will be either purchased by myself or someone I know.

2. Every beer will be poured into a glass, obviously because if it isn’t, I can’t critique its appearance. I will not be using the appropriate glassware, either — I have 14 oz. mugs I use for all my beer.

Point scale for my reviews is based on the scale Cigar Aficionado uses to rate cigars.

*Beers rating lower than 70 points are occasionally published, if the situation warrants.

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