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> Scoring system and personal preference, ...how to do it?
Wild Bill Turkey
post Oct 23 2006, 09:31 PM
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I take absolutely no offense. The conversation seems valuable and academic to me.

I waited a really long time before posting my first review precisely because I find it to be so subjective giving numbers to tastes.

I don't cook, so I can't make truly educated comments on subtle issues with high-end distilled products. I can't tell you when the tails were mishandled, or when the wrong cultivar of fennel was used. For this reason I have avoided trying to review the serious, artistically produced absinthes.

When the call went out to review some of the overlooked lesser products, I decided to pick one I liked and try reviewing it. But even then, my sentimental fondness for the product effected the outcome.
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Jaded Prole
post Oct 23 2006, 10:38 PM
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I think the suggestions are interesting and maybe a qualifier of sorts and rating adjustments for oil mixes might be helpful. I think any major changes in how absinthes are rated would complicate the process as there are already quite a few rated.



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bob_chong
post Oct 23 2006, 10:47 PM
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QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Oct 23 2006, 07:38 PM) *

I think any major changes in how absinthes are rated would complicate the process as there are already quite a few rated.


Inertia isn't a good enough reason to resist change.

I didn't realize you were so reactionary/conservative, Hated Pole.


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Donnie Darko
post Oct 23 2006, 11:20 PM
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It's tough to make a fool proof scoring system if everyone gets to submit reviews. Most websites that I've seen that do liquor reviews tend to have a core group of experienced tasters that do all of the reviews, as opposed to accepting reviews from anyone and their brother as we do. We even seem to accept from people who have tried only one or two absinthes. Thank god I didn't submit a review for Talisker to a Whisky review site when I'd only had two other single malts at that point. I would have said it tasted like fucking dirt, when actually it's pretty good now that I understand the complex palate standard to Whisky.

Bill is honest and admits that he doesn't have the experience that some might and thus can't pick out fennel nuances, wormwood variations or other characteristics which some feel are very important in absinthe evaluation. But can a review be that informative when the reviewer doesn't have the experience necessary to pick out some of the huge flaws in the drink (overwhelming star anise presence, sharp low quality alcohol, cloying sweetness, not even remotely complex)? Bill's Mari Mayans score was only a couple points lower than my Doubs score, and Doubs is light years better than Mari Mayans, as I'm sure any experienced taster would agree. This may sound elitist, but don't you want the most experienced tasters reviewing a drink you're going to drop over $100 on?

The other issue is the buyer's guide THREAD and the buyer's guide PAGE are two different entities, with the more easily accessible Buyer's Guide Page link at the top of the site not being updated nearly as frequently as the Buyer's Guide thread, which is a real mess if you're looking to find an absinthe by name, since it's updated by date, not alphabetically, and gives you little clue as to what the absinthe bottle looks like or where to get it. The only scores for Doubs on the Buyer's Guide Page are Arty's and Greenimp's, which were both posted before the drink was on the market and the public was able to try it. Likewise Duplais is under-represented, which has scored higher as of late. So which Buyer's Guide are people supposed to use here? I see that the Buyer's Guide Page says that the Buyer's Guide Thread is more current, but since the threads aren't alphabetical, it's a pain in the ass to find any absinthe that wasn't reviewed recently.

There are enough absinthes out there now where I think this site could really step up a notch, and create a top 10 list for people looking for the best, and also a bang-for-your-buck list for people on a budget but who want something better than green piss. Just look at wine review sites, whisky and whiskey review sites, and you'll see all different sorts of eye-catching and creative guidelines for reviews that go beyond bare text on a page with the score highlighted in red. I'm going to get lynched for saying this, but Absinthebuyersguide.com provided a much more accessible format that was easier to navigate, had much more visual aids and thus made one want to read the reviews more, even though the site itself was a shill run by a rat bastard thief and the reviews therein were disingenuous.

Or maybe I'm master of the obvious and all of the changes I'm suggesting are already under way.
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Donnie Darko
post Oct 23 2006, 11:46 PM
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On another note, Bob had suggested a more sophisticated scoring Rubric. I like that idea, though I have no suggestions as to how to formulate one.
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traineraz
post Oct 23 2006, 11:49 PM
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Actually, Chong, I was hoping to see your review style and learn where your tastes lie, as that might help me understand why you're so ardent in your critique of WBT's mediocre review of MM, and also demonstrate with what success you've used the scoring system yourself.

Thin-skinned? Try not looking for arguments when they only exist in your mind.

What did you think of DrinkBoy's efforts over at WS? Or did you not get a chance to look yet?


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Donnie Darko
post Oct 23 2006, 11:54 PM
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What I'd really like to do is have a big internet fight over how to score absinthes. poop.gif

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traineraz
post Oct 23 2006, 11:55 PM
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Let's make a scoresheet pinata and beat the snot out of it . . .


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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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Artemis
post Oct 24 2006, 12:08 AM
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I didn't take Trainer's post as being a slap at Chong.

After Chong reacted, I read it again and saw how it could be taken that way.

It could be that Chong was overly sensitive.

If Trainer DID intend to imply that Chong should shut up because he hadn't put up, there's probably even some merit in that.

But I think Chong was only saying, this is supposed to be the be-all and end-all of scoring, but maybe it's not.

And I think Trainer was only saying, how would you do it better, indeed, how have you done it at all?

The scoring system is a work in progress. It had to start somewhere. It's far less than perfect and far better than nothing at all. Personally, I don't care to rate absinthe anymore. It comes in two kinds, drinkable, and not.


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G&C
post Oct 24 2006, 12:12 AM
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Indeed.

Drink it or sink it.


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Just drink it or sink it.
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Donnie Darko
post Oct 24 2006, 12:13 AM
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Can't argue with that.

QUOTE(traineraz @ Oct 23 2006, 08:55 PM) *

Let's make a scoresheet pinata and beat the snot out of it . . .


If good absinthe falls out, then hell yes!

FWIW I do like Drinkboy's system, though there's plenty of absinthe's I'd probably put somewhere inbetween his range which would require the use of decimal points. I like the thrust of his system and the priorities, but not the number schematic. A scale from 1-5 leaves too much wiggle room inbetween. Two absinthes that scored a 3.1 and a 3.7 in aroma would be worlds apart in my book, but I'm not about to round that 3.7 up to a 4.

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Wild Bill Turkey
post Oct 24 2006, 12:15 AM
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I'm starting to think I've already provided a piñata to beat the crap out of.
Yes, it was a mediocre review, if not actually bad. I've already requested that it be deleted.

But Donnie, I do recognize the overwhelming flaws that keep MM from comparing even remotely to better absinthes, and as I said, when I saw how high my score was, I checked the index and found Doubs rated at 83, which made me feel better about leaving the 63 on my review. The unacceptable numbers in my review came from my newness at the review process, not from an inability to taste the difference.
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eric
post Oct 24 2006, 12:33 AM
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I do not think that Bills MM review should be deleted. I like the review even though I do not like the MM very much. I still really enjoy reading the old reviews that date back to the earliest days of this forum. I think they provide an interesting Time Window.



At this point in time, I think that it is still impossible to be completely subjective in an Absinthe review. There just are not enough people who even know what they are talking about for anybody to be dead on accurate. Even some of the most outspoken experts can be completely full of baloney.



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traineraz
post Oct 24 2006, 12:39 AM
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Indeed, like which is better, Deva or NS 70 . . .


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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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Jaded Prole
post Oct 24 2006, 12:46 AM
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What Eric says rings true but that's what I like about seeing multiple reviews of a particular brand. Tastes vary as does knowledge and experience. Collectively we come out with a better picture of any brand's relative attributes.


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