RateBeer Forums

The new comments in the activity feed hurt the site's goal


Hi there friends,
After reading a rating of 2.3 for a beer, I stumbled upon this postscript added by the site: “Might want to rinse afterward.”

Two point three. That’s only 0.2 under the actual median of our scale. I’ve always perceived 2.5 not to be crap, but not great either. Unremarkable and not too well balanced, maybe? Or with way too fizzy carbonation. Or too sweet, but otherwise alright. Definitely not great. But not too bad either.

A common compliant on here is that the ratings on UT are way too enthusiastic or uninformed and, thus, too high. In my feeling, derogatory comments like the above for a beer that is a little under okay will steer us toward higher ratings. Plus: it’s hurtful for the brewer as well. Let the reviews be critical, but statements like this one form the site itself are unnecessary and only hurt our status in the beer-rating game.

I reached 7000 4 days ago... and then I reached 7000 today again

Since the scale is from 0.5-5 I would say 2.75 is the median. But I agree.


Fair point, eh. :upside_down_face:


Let’s just add that to the list of badly executed worthless additions nobody asked for whose implementation was given higher priority than fixes for many frustrating things because of which people are losing or have entirely lost enthusiasm for RB, or any semblance of belief in the site.

This is embarrassingly badly executed, without any semblance of idea what RB scores actually mean. Reeks of “clueless outsider” influence.


2.3 for me is rank. not undrinkable but no way im finishing it

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Fair point that we all see the scale a bit differently. But do you want the site to state something along the lines of “Gotta be a drain pour”?

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My most recent 2.2 is riddled with insults. But then again it was an Omnipollo stout, so snarfed 4 for looks. I don’t see any 2.3s in my last few hundred beers.

My “midpoints” (actually slightly below for some fields, as mentioned above) I codified, right in my early days of this 10/5/10/5/20 rating scheme as ~ you can tell it’s a beer made with sufficient quantities of proper beer ingredients. Pissy lager too bland, lacking hops, say, and it’s into 4 territory. Actual nastiness or flaws required for 3 and below. However, if it’s adjuncted to absurdity it still might stay at 5, unless it’s offensive, in which case the sub-5s appear.

So adequately done handle-turning 5:3:5:3:10 = 2.6, or 2.5 for a more watery lager. You actually need to be doing something wrong to get below that. 2.0-2.4 is not good. 1.5-1.9 is bad, sub-1.5 is horror, and quite hard to achieve.

Found one! Punished for pinkness and fizziness: Brewdog Raspberry Rivet 5:2:5:2:9=2.3


It wasn’t clear to me on first reading that this postscript was an annotation added by the site itself, and not just some final words by the human reviewer.

And as such, that’s an awful misfeature, as different people, for ill or good, use the number range differently (see the cider on the other thread for an example that’s even more terrible).

When they’re up and visible the only annotation I plan to automatically add to my ratings would be in terms of how many standard deviations this lies from the individual rater’s mean, perhaps style-adjusted. Of course, once you’ve done that, you can stir in some Bayes, and start saying a bit more, if you’re sufficiently math-nerd…


Ohhhh i didn’t realise this was site added. Thats horrendous. The site shouldn’t be adding a postscript to my rating. Its not like we all use they same scale.


yea this is very odd and also it changes every time you go to your feed. One of my friends logged a review of 2.5 that said the below:

“Enjoyed straight from can. Aromas and flavors: Some fruits, grass, vegetables, some hops and malts. Lots of vegetables.”

However these are 3 separate comments ratebeer has assigned this morning in my feed:

“Might want to rinse after that one”
“Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark”
“Ooh that’s just terrible”


I would make the argument that our scores are, by design, not uniformly distributed, hence the median is neither 2.75 nor 2.5 (at least, not necessarily!)

Even if you assume that the different categories (Aroma, Appearance, Taste, Palate, and Overall) are each uniformly distributed within their range and independent of each other (which is certainly not true: nobody will ever give an Overall 20 when the other scores are low…), there are multiple ways of getting a 3.0 (for instance: 6/3/6/3/12, 6/4/5/3/12, 5/3/7/3/12, and many more), whereas there is only one way to obtain a 5.0 (10/5/10/5/20), and a 0.5 (1/1/1/1/1). Okay, granted, this phenomenon is symmetric, and so the median of this would be 2.75 - but then the thing is still that the different category scores are not independent, and I am not sure that dependence is symmetrical.


A 2.5 rating by one of my friends has been labelled by the site as “Obviously disappointing”, which implies that the beer failed to meet his expectations. Kinda funny, given that his review doesn’t actually say anything negative about the beer

Being a pale lager with a pretty bad reputation here [1.96 overall score], it could have been completely in line with his expectations.

Overall this feels like something rather unecessary that hasn’t had much thought put into it.

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I don’t think there is a point in discussing what a rating number means, it is obviously a very individual and subjective thing. Everyone has their own kind of scale which they apply to what they’re rating, and that’s why we have all the nice stats also telling us which people tend to rate higher than average or lower than the site-wide average.

But particularly since we have all this data, it boggles my mind how anyone could have the idea to make the site comment on ratings purely depending on the number. I agree that this is counter-productive and counter-intuitive. Please remove it.


They are not funny.
Plus I suspect there are very few “comments”, so it’s already boring to see them.


Are there also comments for when a beer is highly rated?


yes, for instance “We’re having fun out here, people.”

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The whole idea of having an automatically generated message coming from the website that states an opinion on a product depending of a score of a single user seems totally wrong to me…

If I rate a Westvleteren a 1.0/5, then it’s my personal opinion and it doesn’t reflect the actual trend… We shouldn’t see in the feed a “Well that must be a drain pour!!!” added to that score…


Jesus Christ… that one triggered my douchebag alert so hard…

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I cannot read that comment in a non-sarcastic voice either.

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It’s like something a 55-year old perv who crashed some student party and is “accidentally” groping just about every feminine-looking person in the place would exclaim at some point.

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