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> Scoring system and personal preference, ...how to do it?
hartsmar
post Feb 17 2006, 04:26 PM
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In the last couple of weeks I have had several reviews updated, sent to me, and moved around the forum. One thing that strikes me, and most noticable was the latest review on the Montmartre - which I removed.

The scoring system is based on an unbiased view which only takes into consideration the quality of the absinthe and preferrably not ones personal preference.

It is very easy to give lower scores to an abisnthe that doesn't appeal to you but that is not what the scoring system is about. If there are flaws in process, artifical color, bad color, no louche etc - those are things to lower a score. If there's something in the taste that one doesn't like - say, anise or fennel or coriander or what ever, that shouldn't lower a score per se since that is actually nothing wrong with the absinthe itself.

An absinthe can however be out of balance and be too heavy on star anise or something which would lend a lower score.

There are a megalozillion parameters that could be taken into consideration of course but personal preference shouldn't be one.

The score sheet that got me thinking about this was one that had an average of 30 points lower than other reviews on the same product. Where is the error? The product at hand is by no means flawed, which was why I figured it to be more of a personal taste thing.

So, what - you can't have a personal taste? Yes you can and of course your personal taste will play a part in the review, that can never be excluded and it shouldn't. It's a fine line to walk but a well made product can not get extremely low points because it used some herbs that someone didn't like. There is the possibility to add a personal note to the review where you are more than welcome to add comments like this but I don't think it should be taken into the scores too much.

Then, why do some absinthe get awfully low scores?
For a number of reasons. Method of manufacture, coloring methods, actual color being off, no louche, it's named Hill's etc.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.

This post has been edited by hartsmar: Feb 17 2006, 04:34 PM


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Oxygenee
post Feb 17 2006, 04:56 PM
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There are 10 points in the scoring system allocated for "Overall Impression". This is the area where you can bring your own idiosyncratic preferences into play.

But as Hartsmar says, in the rest of the categories it's essential to follow the tasting guidelines, which set out quite clearly what is desirable, and what's not. If you're in any doubt, please read the "Guidelines" column and the notes on Pg 2 of the tasting evaluation sheet, together with the initial posts in the "The New Fee Verte Absinthe Buyers Guide" thread.

The whole point of the tasting system IS TO BE ABLE TO MEANINGFULLY COMPARE REVIEWS FROM DIFFERENT TASTERS. Without some common structure, and adherence to broadly agreed criteria, this becomes a meaningless exercise.


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jacal01
post Feb 17 2006, 06:15 PM
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Although I understand the rationale for a 3:1 dilution in the interests of consistency or review, it’s been my experience that there is a definite dilution sweet spot for balance and full development of complimentary flavors, if for no other reason than differing alcoholic proofs, and that sometimes is a very narrow range. Within that window the taste of the absinthe may make a marked difference from the standard dilution.

I think that there should be an point range assignment for taste on the basis of an stated optimal dilution for the reviewer, maybe as a subcategory for taste, accounting for maybe 5 or 10 points of the 20 point allocation, or maybe as its own 10 point assignment partitioned away from the other categories.
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Boileau
post Apr 20 2006, 11:15 AM
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It might not be a bad idea to throw out both the highest & lowest scores of each absinthe to give a more accurate median. I know this technique is used in many ratings systems. This helps to counteract the fact that some people will give it a rediculously high rating, while others will score it very low.

Just an idea I thought I'd throw out there.


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hartsmar
post Apr 20 2006, 11:43 AM
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Another thing we need to set up rules for (I think this is mentioned in the thread covering the actual score sheet) is how to rate a blanche absinthe in color.

A perfectly clear and transparent blanche is a perfect color for a blanche while a yellowish tint might indicate problems in production etc. A perfect pearly white completely opaque louched blanche is a damn high or perfect score.


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brucer
post Apr 20 2006, 01:15 PM
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IMO, re rating blanches on colour ...

Unlouched, to be fair to vertes, a perfectly clear blanche should get 8/10, reserving 9/10 or 10/10 for those that also show aesthetic subtle and pleasing hues from refraction at the meniscus etc.

And the same with louched. 9/10 or 10/10 should be more than just milky and opaque.

A yellow tint is another matter. We need a consensus as to whether this is acceptable, the right shade, and can be measured aesthetically, or whether it is a defect.

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Donnie Darko
post Apr 20 2006, 04:33 PM
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It's a defect and should be penalized, although I think some of the scores of 1 or 2 are harsh since it's not THAT yellow. I think a score of 5 would be acceptable.
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hartsmar
post Apr 20 2006, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE(brucer @ Apr 20 2006, 06:15 AM) *

Unlouched, to be fair to vertes, a perfectly clear blanche should get 8/10, reserving 9/10 or 10/10 for those that also show aesthetic subtle and pleasing hues from refraction at the meniscus etc.


Did you just look that up in the dictionary? I think any such properties would be too much depending on things other than the absinthe itself and not something that could be a general rule. Things like that are typically the stuff you mention in your own personal notes added in the end of the review.



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whizz
post Apr 20 2006, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE
...reserving 9/10 or 10/10 for those that also show aesthetic subtle and pleasing hues from refraction...


The aesthetic pleasing hues will IMO differ too much depending on light temperature (nothing to do with heat). This means that a hue as seen in for example daylight will differ a lot from the hue in incandescent light. As a HRD trained diamond grader I know the importance of using standardised light sources when colour(less) grading. Also important when judging coloured stones. I always judge the colour of vertes in daylight in the shade. Preferably northern light. You aussies will then use southern light :)


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Kirk
post Apr 20 2006, 06:49 PM
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I am blacking out
so I am lashing out
thus I will tell you what "D" means:
D is the color of 16 ounces of distilled water and
"E" has had one drop of tap water added to it,
so
if you want to add the definition of diamonds to the color of absinthe
then buddy
you get better get to it.


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whizz
post Apr 20 2006, 08:19 PM
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Thanks Kirk, that has such a nice poetic touch.
Maybe we could agree on a similar color grading system as for gemstones? shock.gif
Gotta put together some grading sets.
For blanches: Colorless to tinted yellow and Colorless to tinted brown.
For vertes: Light green to intense pure green, light yellowish green to intense ditto and the same for blueish and brownish greens.

I can hear myself cry out: NOOOO i drank the yellowish green grading samples... AGAIN abs-cheers.gif


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brucer
post Apr 21 2006, 08:32 AM
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Of course refractive hues are dependant on lighting. Judge in daylight. Of course they are subjective, but so is taste.

My point still stands: for a level playing field with vertes, a blalche that is pure clear and nothing else should get 8/10. A verte that is the right shade/colour/hue is 8/10 too. 9+ should be reserved for something really special (like the green of Edouard).

Bruce
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hartsmar
post Apr 21 2006, 11:36 AM
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See, this is more of a problem than one would think I guess.
A blanche is supposed to be clear. If it's clear and not obviously flawed then it's a perfect blanche. Is it not?


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whizz
post Apr 21 2006, 12:05 PM
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I agree, go by the KISS method.

A visually colorless blanche should score top scores.
A verte with a pleasing (to the eye) coloration should do the same.

But what do I know, I'm just a novice in the wonderful world of absinthe...


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brucer
post Apr 21 2006, 01:10 PM
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If you give 10 to a blanche because "there is nothing wrong with it", then you should give 10 to a verte because there is nothing wrong with it.

Then you meet Edouard which is far better than "nothing wrong with it", it is absolutely stunning. So now what ? 11/10 for Ed.

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