When you read a review and rating of a beer on The Basement Beer Tastings, you’re getting a score more accurate than other “peer-reviewed” sites on the Internet.
Perfect (100) — We believe that the perfect beer may be a once-in-a-lifetime find, so you won’t find “100s” being handed out as easily as other beer ratings sites. Who knows…you may never find a 100 on this site.
World-Class (90-99) — These beers stand out as beers that really have no equal, and received top ratings across the scoring categories. Scores in this range will also be very rare.
Excellent (80-89) — While some review sites assign scores in the 80s only to fair beers, we have a different approach. Our panel feels that a beer in the 80s is, in fact, highly rated, and an excellent brew worth driving to your package store to buy.
Very Good (70-79) — Isn’t a grade in the 70s a “C?” Maybe in school, but not here. Many of the competent beers the panel rates end up in this range. If you read a review in the 70s on this site, it’s a very good beer you may want to check out.
Good (60-69) — A beer in this range is just that. Good. Not great. Not bad. If you order it in a restaurant, you won’t be disappointed, but you probably wouldn’t drive to the store to buy it.
Fair (50-59) — Beers in this category fail to impress, but won’t offend you, either. You probably won’t walk away on a beer in this range…but you probably won’t have a second one.
The Basement (Under 50) — Beers that fall below 50 have red flags waving over them. While this category can include “bad” beers, that isn’t always the case. We don’t call this range “Poor,” because the rating could simply reflect that the beer is a niche drink attractive to only certain palates.
Scoring Each Beer
Our panel sets out to give a fair, objective rating for each beer using a aggregate overall 100-point score weighted on the following traits:
Appearance (10 points)
This is how the beer looks when it’s poured. It is subjective to each panelist, and can include color, clarity, opaqueness, head, lacing, even the label on the bottle — whatever matters to each panelist.
Smell (10 points)
Simply, how the beer smells. It could include not only the aroma, but if it matches the expectation for the type of beer, and how it affects the taste of the beer.
Mouthfeel (5 points)
The physical feel of the beverage in your mouth. Is it syrupy? Sudsy? Soapy? Coating? Was it what you expected? Does it match the expectation for the style of beer?
Taste (25 points)
The initial taste of the beer. This category is heavily weighted because — let’s face it — taste is why you buy the beer. Taste includes the flavor, strength, mouthfeel, chemistry…even how the temperature affects it.
Aftertaste (20 points)
Often overlooked, the aftertaste is the finish of the beer. What does it leave as a taste in your mouth? Is it pleasing? As expected? A beer that tastes great could leave a poor taste in your mouth after you’re done drinking it, so this aspect is important.
Drinkability (30 points)
This is the most subjective category to each of our panelists. There is no prescribed definition, because drinkability is what you make of the beer-drinking experience. It could be “How much do I enjoy it through the entire glass?” or “Could I drink this all night?” It’s up to our panelists.