Session #83 - Are some beers over-rated?

Yes, without a doubt.

Taking Ratebeer as an example, here is the current top 10:

Westvleteren 12 (XII)
Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Russian River Pliny the Younger
AleSmith Speedway Stout (Barrel Aged)
Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch
Bells Black Note Stout
Rochefort Trappistes 10
AleSmith Speedway Stout
Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout (Bourbon Vanilla Bean)
Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout

It consists of 7 Imperial Stouts (2 of which are variations on a third), two "quads" and an imperial IPA. One only has 39 ratings...

Personally I don't like the top rated beer in the world (I much prefer the sint bernardus version) but then everyone is different...

There are the breweries that are the darlings of the craft beer world....hill farmstead, cigar city, lost abbey. Fanboys rating these beers can send them in to the top scores. The freshness of a beer impacts on its score, and as the freshest beer the majority of rate beer users can get is local to them, American beers are given a premium over beers from elsewhere.

When beers are limited more people want to try them for fear of missing out, and if they cost more pepole are perhaps more likely to view them through rose tinted specs (as they don't want to admit they've wasted money on a duff beer when they could have bought multiples of something decent for the same price).

The England list is a bit better - I've been lucky enough to try them all and generally agree, though the presence of Fullers and Sam smith's an only be attributed to the availability of these in America.Though even taking those out the beers are all strong, mostly dark and limited release.

Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve  
Thornbridge Bracia  
Fuller’s London Porter (Bottle/Keg)  
The Kernel India Pale Ale Double Citra  
The Kernel Imperial Brown Stout London 1856  
Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout  
Thornbridge Hall Courage Russian Imperial Stout  
Magic Rock Bourbon Barrel Bearded Lady  
The Kernel Export Stout London 1890  
Arbor / Moor Double Dark Alliance 

Outside of Ratebeer and in the general beer enthusiasts sphere, beers from he usual suspects can create a Twitter storm in advance of/ around the date of release meaning more people hear about the beer than otherwise would have. This is of course great for the breweries concerned, but I'm sure for every Kernel, Magic Rock and Thornbrideg there are other breweries in an area of low beer geek density (BGD) just quietly getting on with it producing beers which are just as good. Its our job as beer bloggers to seek out these brews and get the word out there!

So I'll finish by following my own philosophy and letting you know about Wiper & True based in Bristol. I've had 6 of theirs so far and not been disappointed by any. Fantastic fresh pale ales and IPAs packed full of hop flavour brewed in various locations around the South West. Yet to try their darker offerings but the consensus seems to say they're good too. Check them out. In fact just head to Bristol for a few days and see everything this great city has to offer!

This post was brought to you courtesy of TheSession, this month brought to you by Rebecca of the Bake and Brew. Cheers!


  1. You UK list is WRONG. What you have there is the ENGLISH list. 2nd Equal is Harviestoun Ola Dubh (40 Year Old) , and 4th is BrewDog / Nøgne Ø Mikkeller Black Tokyo* Horizon and DOG A i think makes it on near the bottoms!!!!