A Small Matter of Subjectivity

This is a recurring issue… from time to time we cannot avoid being surprised by the ratings displayed by ratebeer.com. Let’s be clear: I’m not trying to roll back the approach of this useful and effective website; I only want to draw attention to the surprises that can sometimes arise from it.

Now, right to the point: How to explain that a beer crowned at the 2017 World Beer Awards is only rated 56 on ratebeer? We know that the rating is an average of the opinions formulated by the contributors, and that the “overall” score is a catchall for impressions across categories (appearance, aroma, palate, taste, and overall). But still… 56? Hardly flattering for Tripick 8, given the honours it’s received for its high quality. Are the jurors completely off the mark or is it a matter of subjectivity?

I’m often strict with the opinions of my fellow Belgians about beers of the world, but this time I’ll reverse the situation: Most of ratebeer’s voters are American, and I find they’re a bit protectionist. As evidence of that, apart from American beers, only a few foreign ones – for example Westvleteren XII and Orval – get very high ratings.

And frankly, this 8%-ABV blond beer, launched in 2017 by Nicolas Leonard, Emmanuel Mewissen, and Fréderic Ambroise (Boncelles, province of Liège, Belgium) and brewed at Lupulus (see here), deserves a much better rating.

Try it again, my friends, or taste it if you find it! You’ll see. This triple-crowned best strong beer in Belgium is very expertly brewed.