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June 18, 2010

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I use a variation on the Cyclops system developed in the UK by the Everard's Brewery.

http://www.cyclopsbeer.co.uk

I prefer the A-F system.

It reminds me of grade school and sadly that's where I may have peaked.

The 100 point scale for beer is unsettling for many reasons most of which are unconscious.

Bryan: Too bad your vote doesn't count :) We want readers, not staffers, to help drive this decision.

Julia, are you giving this beer an B- because you like Brett funkier than George Clinton (which is pretty funkadelic) or are you able to seperate your personal taste from the critique?

We all know that Parker's wine ratings have been established with a known bias for "in you face" alcohol and fruit, but where are we to start with Julia Burke?

I'm not trying to critique the critique, but what about a rating based on quality of product in the grand scheme of things, as opposed to one person's view of this or that?

In other words, how do I value the rating until I know Julia Burke? And if we assume I don't regularly drink with her, what good is the number or letter anyway?

Jim:

Good point - my comment about liking funk was subjective. (Is personal taste ever entirely separate from the critique? Should it be?) I thought it was important to make the point that I have a high threshold for funky beers, since, as you pointed out, I'm fairly new to the NYCR.

But I do think style, and what a brewery is aiming for, is a factor, and this is a beer that uses the words "funk" and "brett" in the name. I just didn't see a whole lot of funk or brett in the actual beverage. Sure, someone who likes just a hint of funk might dig this beer, as I suggested - that's why we use whole reviews, not just ratings.

My grade reflects my overall experience of the beer, not just that specific issue. Again, ratings (for both beer and wine) are problematic for the very reason that no single number, letter, or other unit can really capture the value of an experience for a consumer, since everyone is different. I'm not looking to tell you whether or not to buy a beer, but to share my personal experience with various examples and hope that you at least enjoy reading it.

If you like my writing in general, you will likely keep reading and get to know "Julia Burke" and whether or not our tastes tend to be in synch, as you would with any site that does reviews. If you don't, that's fine - but if it's because you're not a fan of my rating system, by all means let me know what you'd prefer. I'm certainly not sold on the A-F grades, and I value your feedback!

Cheers,
Julia

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