How to rate the beers!

We rate the beers according to drinkability. We do not judge the beers in the BJCP line of thinking, purely on social drinkability scale.

There are 5 things we notice when rating a beer.

They are (in the order in which they should be observed):

  • Appearance
  • Aroma
  • Taste
  • Body
  • Finish

Appearance

Rating a beer begins with its appearance. After you have poured the beer into a glass, take a moment to notice the following key points: colour, clarity and head retention.

Colour - Beer has a wide variety of colours ranging from: light straw to amber to copper all the way to chocolate, black and pretty much every colour in between. The colour should be fairly consistent among the different styles of beer.

Clarity - Some people tend to value clarity in a beer, but some styles of beers (e.g. hefe wiezen) are supposed to be cloudy.

What we want to know is "Does this beer look inviting?"

Head Retention – When you pour the beer into a glass it should form a nice head which should be maintained. The colour of the head varies for different types of beers. The head should be the right colour for its style.

Remember, glasses that have been placed in the dishwasher will kill the head.

Aroma

A beer’s aroma is very important to its overall taste. Your nose can detect thousands of aromas which give you a multitude of flavours.

Your taste buds on the other hand are only capable of detecting four distinct tastes which are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.

Therefore you want to observe the aroma first because your nose tends to become desensitized to smells rather quickly plus the aromatics of beer tend to be short-lived.

The ingredients which give a beer its aromatic characteristics are the malt, hops and yeast. These can change a beers aromatics and flavour depending on the amounts used in the recipe.

The malt tends to give a beer the sweet, caramel-like aroma and flavour while the hops usually imparts bitterness and can give a beer a grassy, citrusy, floral, and/or a spicy flavour depending on the type of hops used.

A variety of yeasts are used in making beer. Different strains impart different flavours and aromas. For example in a Belgian Abbey beer the spicy/ fruity flavours come from the yeast strains that are used.

Taste

As mentioned earlier, the tongue can only detect four distinct tastes. When combined with aroma, the result is its flavour. In beer, many styles will often share many of the same taste attributes, but the intensity of the individual flavours can differ dramatically. What we want to know is "did you enjoy the taste"?

Body

The body or mouthfeel is how thick and viscous the fluid flows. Is it thin, watery, medium or thick? Take note of the carbonation as well, remembering some ales are not supposed to be as carbonated as your mass produced lager.

Overall

Give your general impression of the beer. Can you sit and drink this all day or will it be reserved for cosy nights by the fire? Is the kind of beer you give to your mother-in-law or the kind you name your kids after?