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> The Fee Verte Absinthe Evaluation System
Oxygenee
post Feb 2 2005, 06:30 AM
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Well, as indicated, one 48 hour African day later, here it is: the Fee Verte Absinthe Evaluation System.

The primary aim of this document is to provide a standardized framework for the review of absinthes of all kinds. It's broadly in accordance with the standards usually applied in the professional judging of wines and spirits. Read the notes on the second page for more on the underlying assumptions and principles behind the system.

I'd like to thank Artemis and Crosby in particular for their feedback on an earlier pre-release draft.

Let me have your comments and suggestions. This is still a beta version, and I'm of course open to refining it further. Artemis will post two initial reviews in the "Smackdown" thread below, to give you an idea of the system in practise.



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Attached File  Fee_Verte_Absinthe_Evaluation_System.pdf ( 108.18k ) Number of downloads: 935


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...et c’est l’absinthe enfin, la grande absinthe ou la petite, parure chaste des montagnes et des rivages marins, fille des grand vents purs, blé des espaces vierges, emblème de la liberté farouche.
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morgueann
post Feb 2 2005, 07:11 AM
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QUOTE
an Ordinaire's blunder as it is commonly known



I like it.


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Oxygenee
post Feb 2 2005, 07:19 AM
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Here is a slimmed down version without the notes and comments, in MS Word format, for use in posting reviews initially.


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Attached File  Absinthe_Tasting_Scoresheet.doc ( 34.5k ) Number of downloads: 579


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...et c’est l’absinthe enfin, la grande absinthe ou la petite, parure chaste des montagnes et des rivages marins, fille des grand vents purs, blé des espaces vierges, emblème de la liberté farouche.
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Absomphe
post Feb 2 2005, 01:53 PM
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Artemis was right, this form is even better than the Ratebeer.com form, and very absinthe specific.

Bravo, Oxy!


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celticgent
post Feb 2 2005, 02:23 PM
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eh, too fucking long.

here's my form:


1. Is it cheap?

2. Will it get you drunk?


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Breson
post Feb 2 2005, 02:56 PM
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The .pdf form is excellent as it includes specific reference standards. Should give more consistent results between various tasters if they are reminded of the benchmark standards as they are completing the form.

Much good information on standard spirit tasting procedures and judging can be found on a lot of scotch tasting sites. The parameters differ but the methodology is the same. Scotch drinkers are deadly serious.

Excellent Work


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Wolfgang
post Feb 2 2005, 05:21 PM
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Thanks Oxy for this great contribution.

There's only one point I do not agree with : the water ratio.

At 3:1, it would only serve the purpose of hiding the lameness of some already too diluted absinthes and it may be detrimental to the high proof traditional absinthes. Of course the perfect water ratio is a question of personal taste but I think it would be better to test all absinthes at 4:1. Of course we could also rate it at various dillution ratio but it could get a bit tedious.


Another less practical but more scientifical way of tasting absinthes could be to reduce it to a given proof. If a 70% alc. absinthe was to be tested at a 4:1 water ratio, we would be testing the final product at 14% alc.

To test a 45% absinthe at the same final strength (14%) , we would need a water ratio of a bit less than 3:1.

For comparaison purpose, a 70% absinthe tasted at 3:1 water ratio means 20% alc. in the glass (which is a bit too strong for my own taste).

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Jack Batemaster
post Feb 2 2005, 05:30 PM
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What's up, Wolfie??? What have you been doin' lately?


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Mon but est simplement d'obtenir Ricard hors de l'absinthe, juste lêchez le reste d'entre eux …
Mon but est simplement d'obtenir Ricard hors de l'absinthe, juste lêchez le reste d'entre eux …
Mon but est simplement d'obtenir Ricard hors de l'absinthe, juste lêchez le reste d'entre eux …
Mon but est simplement d'obtenir Ricard hors de l'absinthe, juste lêchez le reste d'entre eux …
Mon but est simplement d'obtenir Ricard hors de l'absinthe, juste lêchez le reste d'entre eux …
Mon but est simplement d'obtenir Ricard hors de l'absinthe, juste lêchez le reste d'entre eux …
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Hiram
post Feb 2 2005, 05:32 PM
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Excellent form Oxy! This was very sorely needed and I look forward to using it. I think that this could easily become a standard for evaluating absinthes.

Although I believe I understand your intent, you may want to qualify your copyright statement. As it is, it legally prohibits anyone from even printing it out and making copies for a private tasting.

"This scoresheet and absinthe evaluation system Copyright 2005 © Oxygenee
Any form of reproduction without written permission, whether electronic or otherwise, is strictly prohibited."

Would I be able to use it as a tool to post reviews at WS with a tag line something to the effect of "Review performed using the The Fee Verte Absinthe Evaluation System™"?

It might be a good idea to add a clause somewhere suggesting that the form is to be used for private purposes and may only be reproduced in its current form with copyright notice intact, etc. etc. A "Terms of Use" makes it a teence more user-friendly.

Just a suggestion.

Keep up the Great Work!


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verbal_kraze
post Feb 2 2005, 05:42 PM
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I think it would be nice if some more experienced tasters could make a list of the various herbs used in absinthe, and bit of an explanation of what flavor they impart when distilled. It may also be nice to know what to look out for if too much is used, or if bad quality herbs are used.

Something simple like:
Hyssop-Imparts a flavor some describe as "baby powder"
Star Anise-What some may describe as a "black licorice" flavor. Can create a tongue numbing effect if too much is used.

I'm not that qualified for such a task, but I think it could be very helpful.


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Donnie Darko
post Feb 2 2005, 07:08 PM
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I'm with Wolfgang on this one. I gotta say I was surprised by the 3:1 dilution standard, given that a) optimal dilution is greatly dependent on alcohol content, and b) plenty of vintage absinthes gave instructions to dilute at least 4:1, if not more, so why break with tradition? In all honesty, I think the optimal ratio should be determined by talking to distillers and finding out at what dilution they evaluate their own products. Maybe you already did speak with distillers and maybe they prefer 3:1 for all I know...

I also think Taste should be 25 points and Aroma 25, rather than the 20-30 ratio you have currently. They're quite inter-dependent and IMO should be ranked equally rather than allowing aroma to have a higher impact than taste. Aromatic problems can highlight manufacturing errors, but since absinthe is a beverage and not a perfume, I'd say taste should have at least equal footing with aroma.

Everything else though is spot on and great criteria for objective evaluation. I like especially that no sugar can be added.
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Artemis
post Feb 2 2005, 07:18 PM
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Oxy had no intent to propose 3:1 as a "standard", he was only concerned that we don't have one taster watering it down 6:1 and another drinking it straight. We have to start somewhere, so he proposed 3:1.
I'm comfortable with 3:1 as that's pretty much what I've always used, but the point about different proof absinthes by Wolfgang is well taken - we have to do something to allow for that.

There's no way to describe the taste of some of those herbs - you either know what they taste like, or you don't. With a well-blended absinthe, you're going to have trouble picking one out anyway. Where it would come in most handy is to point out faults, i.e., you can't say there's too much star anise if you don't know what star anise tastes like, but then, you shouldn't be rating absinthes anyway.


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Donnie Darko
post Feb 2 2005, 08:28 PM
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I probably mistook the evaluation sheet to mean the absinthe must be evaluated at 3:1 and nothing else. 3:1 is certainly adequate for some absinthes, but there's some stuff in Jade & others that might be missed at 3:1.
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traineraz
post Feb 2 2005, 08:47 PM
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I recall reading a number of reviews in which the reviewer described either an improvement in bouquet and presence of more subtle nuance with greater dilution, or a simple watering-down, depending upon the product.

Not only would I agree with Wolfgang's comment about a more consistent % alcohol for tasting, but I'd like to see room for additional notes; for example, if I tasted a particular blanche at 3:1 and found it fairly simple and dominated by anise, but then diluted it further and found a greater complexity arising, it would be helpful to have a way to note that.


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. . . and don't forget to read the FAQ and check out the Absinthe Buyer's Guide for brand reviews and distributor links!
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verbal_kraze
post Feb 2 2005, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE (Artemis @ Feb 2 2005, 12:18 PM)
i.e., you can't say there's too much star anise if you don't know what star anise tastes like, but then, you shouldn't be rating absinthes anyway.

I see your point Artemis.



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