We do a lot of reviews of alcohol-free beer and low alcohol wine and drinks. We’ve recently decided to include CBD based drinks as well. This adds up to a lot of tasting and testing of different drinks.
Before NoLowNow launched we spent a lot of time thinking about what our readers really want from the site. We landed on a simple, straight-talking, place to check out whether a NoLow drink was going to be any good. We don’t think readers want the NoLow equivalent of the 100 point wine scale, rather just an indication, almost swipe left or swipe right for no and low alcohol drinks.
We didn’t quite go that far but we have trimmed it down to two things, the look and feel, and the taste. We score them out of five and at the moment we weight them equally, there’s some discussion that we should weight taste more heavily but right now, balanced it is. We score each attribute out of 5 and then divide by 2 to arrive at an overall score out of 5, simple stuff. As a rule, anything scoring over a 4 is going to be fine, over 4.5 and you might be hard pushed to tell the difference between a NoLow and a full alcohol version.
And that brings up another point. How should you score the taste of a NoLow drink? Should you compare it to its full alcohol cousin or should you consider it as its own thing as a stand-alone drink? Ultimately we’ve ended up somewhere in the middle of this. If a drink is calling itself a Pale Ale, it’s hard not to compare it to other Pale Ales. Conversely, if we’re tasting a CBD new entrant to the market it may not have an equivalent version and so it gets scored from fresh.
Look and Feel is important, how’s the packaging, the brand, how does it pour, what does it look like in the glass, how do I feel when drinking this, for many NoLow drinkers this is almost as important as the taste.
Most of our tastings and reviews will be done solo, one review, one score. But we’re going to be running a number of Happy Hour sessions when we get some friends together to try a bunch of different drinks as we did for the Gruvi tasting session. These should be fun and will produce some more light-hearted comments and thoughts, Finally, next year we hope to add video reviews to bring some of the sessions to live, stand by for more news on that.
Please get in touch if you’d like to see us doing reviews differently or if you have a drink you’d like us to try.