Beer Tasting & Reviewing Basics

I’ve posted a total of three reviews so far.  One of the regulars on my favorite sub-community of  BeerAdvocate.com, New Beer Sunday (or NBS for short) left me feedback.  They explained that veterans to beer reviews might gloss over my rating system, but other newcomers to the craft scene might wonder what all those numbers and letters mean at the bottom of my reviews.  So, my system:

I’ve adopted the “out of 5” (with increments of .25) system from BeerAdvocate.com, and re-read their section on reviewing beer.  I’ve taken to using the word “aroma” over “smell,” as I think of good beer having a pleasing olfactory experience.  I regard the “look” of a beer as “sight,” what I experience with the beer in my mouth as “taste,” though the “feel” of a beer does add complexity to the “taste” factor.  “Feel” is shortened from “mouthfeel,” the amount of carbonation, perceived body (i.e.- thin and watery or thick and creamy), and if I notice an aspect of the beer lingering after I swallow, I might mention a long finish, much like it wine or fine spirits.  The “overall” section is summed up, with an impression of the style compared to its adherence (or lack of) to traditional style expectations, other beer by the same brewer, and any other comments I feel help describe the beer.

There’s a heavier emphasis on taste and smell over the other parts of a review, it makes up a large portion of experiencing a beer.

So,

A: aroma, S:  sight, T:  taste, F:  feel, O:  overall.

I hope this helps.

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