I used to rank beers from 1 to 6 *. In december of 1996 I changed my rating method to a twenty-point scale as described by Fred Eckhardt in his Essentials of Beer Style: three points for Appearance, four points for Aroma, ten points for Mouthfeel, and three points for Overall Impression. Once again, in July 2000, I changed to a more accurate method: five points for appearance, ten for aroma, ten for flavor, five for aftertaste and twenty for overall impression. This give a maximum of 50 points which I reduce on a 20 points scale.
96% of the beers are now rated with the 20-point scale (91% with the new method, inclusive comments).
Old New
* 0 - 5.4 BAD ! Unfinishable (I call those beers "lavabo beers")
** 5.8 - 9.0 BELOW AVERAGE, with few qualities except for being wet and/or cold and you are very thirsty. Ingredients are weak and/or of poor quality.
*** 9.4 - 12.0 AVERAGE. Okay for when your attention is directed elsewhere, e.g., at TV.
**** 12.4 - 15.2 ABOVE AVERAGE, satisfying by itself.
***** 15.6 - 19.6 OUTSTANDING. Makes you eager to share with friends and to keep stocked in your refrigerator.
****** 20 HEAVEN ! After drinking this one (I haven't yet), you can die in peace ...