the evaluation method should be made objective. the evaluation criterion should be improved by trying to eliminate the subjective evaluation as much as possible and imposing the objective one: the site should associate the numbers with the objective values. For example, the number 6 corresponds to “good”, 7 to “extremely good”, 3 to “very bad” and so on. This is because each person can have a different evaluation criterion than the others. Ratebeer should eliminate this and create a single evaluation criterion for all.
The problem is that things are still relative (also relative regionally I should add). I know that some people set forth their own criteria, as you did above, in their profiles. That said there is a range of what people consider a 7 to be. Not sure if RB imposing from up on high would do much to change the minds pf people who used one number to mean something for years… I admittedly rate towards the middle (i.e., a miserable rater as some people on this site have noted) and it is hard for me to break out of it as any new ratings I post I aim to keep within same standards as I have held in the past for comparative purposes.
Welcome to the site, thexman. You are mistaken in a number of ways, several of which concern what “objective” means.
- User ratings are ordinal, not cardinal. There is no reason to suppose that a beer rated 2 by me is half as good as a beer rated 4 by me. Or that such a notion is coherent. It’s just a ranking. That in any case has nothing to do with objectivity.
- Ratings are not interpersonally comparable. You could normalise ratings to force everyone’s rating distributions to have the same mean as beers rated, but this - whilst it might be handy to compare who scores what sorts of things higher - wouldn’t be a more objective standard, it would simply mean everyone’s subjectivity counted in the same way.
- “Good”, “enjoyable” and “bad” are not objective criteria. They are evaluations of personal experience. I suppose you could stick a rater in a MRI machine and see what parts of their brain light up and by how much when they sup a hote gold, but that is probably beyond the budget here. You could describe beers by their objective characteristics: this beer has a certain SRM, IBUs, specific gravity, acidity etc - but that does not describe a drinker’s experience of it. That’s inherently subjective.
- You could evaluate beers according to how well they fit a style. This is to mistake a mere convenient classification system (beers made in this way/ beers made in this region) as imposing rather than describing its contents.
 Probably this comes across a mite curmudgeonly. Sorry. I do agree that people should try to be consistent in how they rate.
As I recall, the rating system here (as opposed to a beer judging system) is based on hedonism. The rating is supposed to express enjoyability. Enjoyability cannot be reduced to a standard system because we, each and every one, differ from one another.
Taste ratings are subjective by nature. No way i can post a good review of a sour wild ale, i just don’t like them.
Even so, if you were specific about taste/mouthfeel/etc. with why you didn’t like it, it would be a worthy review.