How We Taste & Test

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Golden And Tripel Ale -

Re­view­ing beer may sound like a dream job, but our tast­ing and re­view panel takes the role se­ri­ously. Com­posed of pro­fes­sional brew­ers, cer­ti­fied Cicerones, and Beer Judge Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Pro­gram (BJCP) judges who have all stud­ied, trained, and been tested on their abil­ity to discern char­ac­ter­is­tics in beer, our panel is in­de­pen­dent and doesn’t in­clude any CB&B ed­i­tors or staff. The panel tastes all beer blindly—they do not know what brands and beers they are tast­ing un­til the tast­ing is com­plete.

Our goal is to in­form you about the strengths and weak­nesses of these beers as well as their rel­a­tive dif­fer­ences (not ev­ery­one has the same taste in beer, so ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tors are more valu­able than straight nu­mer­i­cal val­ues). The quotes you see are com­piled from the re­view panel’s score sheets to give you a well-rounded pic­ture of the beer.

As our re­view­ers judge, they score based on the stan­dard BJCP com­po­nents: Aroma (max 12 points), Ap­pear­ance (max 3 points), Fla­vor (max 20 points), Mouth­feel (max 5 points), and Over­all Im­pres­sion (max 10 points). We’ve listed these in­di­vid­ual com­po­nent scores, and the bot­tom-line num­ber is de­rived from adding then dou­bling these com­po­nent scores to pro­duce a rat­ing on a 100-point scale. Note that we’ve rounded the printed com­po­nent scores to the near­est whole num­ber, so the math won’t nec­es­sar­ily add up.

Our judges use the fol­low­ing scale in valu­ing scores:

95–100 » Ex­tra­or­di­nary World-class beers of su­perla­tive char­ac­ter and flaw­less ex­e­cu­tion 90–94 » Ex­cep­tional Dis­tin­guished beers with spe­cial char­ac­ter, style, and fla­vor 85–89 » Very good Well-crafted beers with note­wor­thy fla­vor and style 80–84 » Good Solid, qual­ity, en­joy­able beers 75–79 » Above Av­er­age Drink­able and sat­is­fac­tory beers with mi­nor flaws or style de­vi­a­tions 70–74 » Av­er­age 50–69 » Not rec­om­mended Keep one thing in mind as you read these re­views—your per­cep­tion of a beer is more im­por­tant than that of our re­view panel or edi­to­rial staff, and read­ing re­views in a mag­a­zine (or on the Web or in a book) is no sub­sti­tute for try­ing the beer your­self.

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