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#31 Boggy

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:52 AM

What about Helfrich blanche I have been trying to add for the last two days? Hopefully soon-my review is ready.
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#32 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:58 AM

It's up. You should be able to add your review.

There's been some glitches that we are working through.
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#33 Boggy

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 12:19 PM

Thanks! Review shall come.
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#34 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 12:21 PM

:cheers:
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#35 Ken Hallenius

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:54 PM

Is it possible to sort the reviews by most recently added? Or perhaps an RSS/Atom feed?

I'm always interested in seeing what people are drinking and reviewing!
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#36 Brian Robinson

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 03:39 PM

If you click on the 'latest' tab from the main screen, it will list the most recent.
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#37 Ken Hallenius

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:45 PM

Gods bless you! I never saw that tab prior to your pointing it out!
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#38 Brian Robinson

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:15 PM

:cheers:
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#39 pt447

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:20 PM

I'm sorry all, but I swear there's no such link as stated to post a review! And what's worse is that I've submitted at least one review before. What am I missing?

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#40 seeker of truth

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 05:03 AM

Gods bless you! I never saw that tab prior to your pointing it out!


Yes, thank you kindly Brian. Right now I'm just doing my reviews on paper. The provided review forms are great, even someone with an inexperienced palate can give a decent review.
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#41 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:03 AM

A brief commentary on ratings.

When I was living in Spain, I was confounded by people who would ace exams, yet get B+ or A- grades and be so happy about it. I asked a teacher, and they basically told me 'People aren't perfect. We reserve the A's for God'.

I have a similar feeling about absinthe reviews. I might receive an absinthe that I think is stupendous, and one of the best I've ever had. But I'd still be hesitant to give it a perfect 5.0 rating. Why? Several reasons:

1) In my mind, and I'm sure in a distiller's mind, everything can be improved upon in some measure. A perfect 5.0 overall rating literally means the brand CANNOT be improved upon.
2) As absinthe continues its development in the US, more and more amaazing products will continue to come out, which will make previous products seem more and more inferior.
3) Similarly, as palates develop by trying more and more brands, previous scores might seem inflated due to the lack of experience with top notch brands.

I'm not necessarily mentioning this due to recent reviews. In fact, there's been a thread about this in the admin area for a year or more. I just want to make sure people are setting aside emotion and doing the review based on an objective idea of what the criteria call for.

So, in closing, just remember a few points:
1) Overly high scores can be construed as being biased towards well regarded WS members and can detrimentally affect the aire of impartiality that the WS tries to maintain.
2) Make sure to review your previous scores. Adjust them accordingly if need be. If you look through my scores, you'll see I do this regularly and make notes about why I changed certain things.
3) Remember, an overall score of 5.0 means a brand has reached the point where it cannot be improved upon. It is perfection in a bottle. While this might be a great compliment to a producer, it also can hold them back by not providing any constructive advice on what might be able to be tweaked to make it even better. If ANY advice can be given, then a product can't be a perfect 5.0.

Just sayin'. :pirate:
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#42 Phoenix

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:24 AM

I can explain exactly why I gave a perfect 5. It deserved it. It's not that it couldn't be approved upon, it's just that a 1-5 rating is a bit restricting. If this were the FV scoring system then I wouldn't have given a perfect score.

Look at it like restaraunts/hotels. How many 5 star restaraunts/hotels are there? Does that mean that they can't improve in someway? If it were a rating of 1-100 would they have gotten a score of 100?
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#43 Joe Legate

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:34 AM

I don't doubt your conviction nor the quality of the absinthe reviewed but...

1) Overly high scores can be construed as being biased towards well regarded WS members and can detrimentally affect the aire of impartiality that the WS tries to maintain.

I don't think the hotel analogy stands up. Different criteria. For absinthe reviews, "5" is perfection in a bottle. Not even the Pre-Bans are awarded 5s.

#44 bksmithey

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:38 AM

I agree with Phoenix here, I think it's just a limitation inherent in the 1-5 system. As has been discussed before, the real review is in the descriptive text; if a producer is looking for constructive criticism, that's the place to find it. I can see that an absinthe could fit the description for '5' for each category, and still be improved. The only way then to limit a straight 5 score would be to give it a '4' overall. That would look pretty weird.

I don't think it's a bad system, it is approachable and makes it easy for less experienced tasters (and I include myself in that group) to write reviews. But then, that's been the subject of debate as well :)

[edit]
Although looking back now at the descriptions for 1-5 for each category, an overall 5 does say that it is perfect and can't be improved. It actually does make sense to award 5 in every category and an overall 4. Still seems to me it would look strange, but it would follow the guidelines. Given that, I should probably revise my overall for MoL down to a 4.

#45 Phoenix

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:47 AM

I don't buy the "Overly high scores can be construed as being biased towards well regarded WS members and can detrimentally affect the aire of impartiality that the WS tries to maintain." because that didn't stop anybody when Marteau came out.

I did think about the pre-ban thing and realize that I didn't even give pre-bans a perfect 5 in all areas. Would I rather have a glass of Meadow of Love over a glass of pre-ban Eddy? Nope. I'd have given the Eddy a much higher rating in flavor. Does that mean that I should lower the score of Meadow of Love because it doesn't match that of pre-ban? If so, that puts it down to a 4. To me, a brand like CLB, just as an example, has a great flavor, but it's doesn't come close to MOL in my book. That'd put CLB down to a 3. I prefer the flavor of CLB much, much more then that of Marteau. Marteau would then get put down to a 2 using this same logic. I don't think the Marteau deserves a score of 2 in flavor, and I think that some here would have a cow if I rated it as such.
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#46 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:47 AM

I can explain exactly why I gave a perfect 5. It deserved it.

But then what happens when another bottle (perhaps even an improved DP absinthe) comes in that you like more? Do you go back and adjust every score you've given to reflect your new benchmark?

...

By the way, I want to make sure that people realize that this in no way is a slight against DPs product. In fact, my reviews, which will be posted soon, will reflect my sentiment that they are simply wonderful. This is overall a general discussion about how liberal we are with giving perfect scores.
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#47 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:50 AM

that didn't stop anybody when Marteau came out.

I didn't see anyone give Marteau a 5. If the scores seemed artificially high for his brand, I would have said so. I've screened lots of reviews that have seemed to be inflated. This isn't the first time I've mentioned it.
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#48 Phoenix

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:52 AM

Although looking back now at the descriptions for 1-5 for each category, an overall 5 does say that it is perfect and can't be improved. It actually does make sense to award 5 in every category and an overall 4. Still seems to me it would look strange, but it would follow the guidelines. Given that, I should probably revise my overall for MoL down to a 4.

Only if you think it needs a 4. Just look back through the reviews of other high rated absinthes and you'll find that many were given a 5 in the overall category.
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#49 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:53 AM

To me, a brand like CLB, just as an example, has a great flavor, but it's doesn't come close to MOL in my book. That'd put CLB down to a 3. I prefer the flavor of CLB much, much more then that of Marteau. Marteau would then get put down to a 2 using this same logic. I don't think the Marteau deserves a score of 2 in flavor, and I think that some here would have a cow if I rated it as such.

That's not at all what the scores are meant to reflect. Look at the descriptors. Two absinthes can have completely different flavor profiles, but both score a 5 because they are both well balanced, rich and complex. You might like one over the other, but they'd still both score a 5 based on that objective criteria. Then you would use the comments section to describe why you like one over the other.
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#50 Phoenix

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:54 AM

You're the boss when it comes to the WS review system Brian. As much as I'd love to say let's agree to disagree, I suppose what you say goes in this department.
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#51 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:55 AM

Only if you think it needs a 4. Just look back through the reviews of other high rated absinthes and you'll find that many were given a 5 in the overall category.

Some could have been mistakenly done because the reviewer might not have understood the definition of a 5. But more often, those 5s were given before the criteria was changed to make it harder to score an absinthe an overall 5. I notice I still have a couple I haven't changed to reflect the new definition. I'll be doing that today.
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#52 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:57 AM

A brief commentary on ratings.

Just sayin'. :pirate:


Agreed.

While I agree that, in theory, a beverage can be "perfection in a bottle", I think it happens rarely. To illustrate, currently Wine Spectator has approximately 205,275 wine reviews listed on their site. 70 have a score of a perfect 100. That's .034%. If I have my math correct (and please correct me if I'm wrong), that means 1 wine in approximately 3,000 made the grade.

I also agree;

1. Review your own scores. I plan to do mine for the first time in July of this year.
2. Remember that the score for "Overall" can serve as an indicator of whether or not you would like to see any aspect of the product fussed with. I can think of a couple of my reviews that are less than perfect "5's", where I would not want to see anything changed.
3. Multiple evaluations really serve to temper scores. Whenever I review an absinthe above a total score of "4", I always do at least 3 evaluations, to make sure I'm consistent.

I also understand that we are dealing with a 5 point system, and that a prefect "5" score, at least compared to 100 point wine scoring systems, is the equivalent of a score of 90 - 100. I suppose for every reviewed absinthe with more than 5 contributors, I could find at least 1 review I could take issue with. It does not, however, make their opinion invalid. Nothing's perfect! Ultimately everything on this site is tempered by greater participation.

Happy Reviewing. :cheers:
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#53 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 08:07 AM

I think this whole thing definitely underpins the need for as many reviews as possible. As you say, multiple reviews temper both the high and low end of the standard deviation.

Keep in mind, I have found anomolies on the low end too, and have tried to deal with them as well.

I did not intend this thread to become a personal attack against anyone's reviws. Please don't take it as such.

In the beginning, I was personally criticized for scoring products too high. I wasn't calling anyone out in particular in this case. My post came about after multiple reviews (read more than a dozen) came in over the past couple of months.
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#54 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 08:22 AM

You're the boss when it comes to the WS review system Brian. As much as I'd love to say let's agree to disagree, I suppose what you say goes in this department.

Not at all. I'm no boss. I've been given a task. A task that was given to me by the advisory board. All of the criteria was developed by the board, not me.

If you want to give it a 5, then give it a 5. It's really no big deal, as long as we all know what it means when someone gives an overall 5.

If you truly think that a brand cannot be improved upon, then 5 it is. It's your opinion, and it's perfectly valid and will be respected.
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#55 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 08:27 AM

Wow. This REALLY hasn't gone the way I intended. :3869-sadbanana:
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#56 accountant

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 08:50 AM

Brian- just to be sure. Is the big issue with simply giving a five in the "overall" category or giving fives in every single category?
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#57 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:02 AM

Just the overall.
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#58 precenphix

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:33 AM

I don't think anyone is taking this personally, man. What I think a lot of people are either hinting at or saying outright is that the rating system is inherently flawed. This is why I've not participated in submitting any "official" reviews this way. I prefer to be more abstract. While a rigid method of breaking an absinthe down by numbers technically has the potential to help a would-be purchaser make an educated decision to do so, I think you're right in that the descriptions are what really makes or breaks things.

Now, some of us are given to a hyperbole, both negative and positive, while wording a review…myself included. While submitting a review for MoL, I alluded to or may have even uttered the word “perfection”. I haven’t gone back to read it. That’s bold statement to give. If it were me, I wouldn’t change a thing about that particular product as I like it the way it is.

“Perfect for that formula,” may have been a more accurate way to put it. I love the stuff and wouldn’t tweak it, even a little. In a case like this, the number rating method might come into play here.

At this point in the history of the Wormwood Society, we’ve been on the 1-5 number system for years. I personally feel this rating system is very limited. I’m not sure if shortening things up was for a easier yay or nay rating on the grand scheme of things or if it was simply a function to differentiate ourselves from Fee Verte. But to go back now and revise all the reviews submitted by board member elders, mods, newbies and even disenfranchised members alike would not only be a royal pain in the ass, but an unfair thing to do to someone’s review who might not be here to approve it. That’s tampering. I wish I could go back and fix some of mine on Fee Verte before I knew what the hell I was talking about, but that’s where the “abundance of reviews” theory aims to level everything out, making for a better ratings.

But this is another problem. If I’m putting words in anyone’s mouth, forgive me, but I’ve sensed an undercurrent on here for a while that leads me to believe a lot of people on this board feel the same way I do. Hence, the lack of an abundance of reviews.

In my mind, this is a conundrum. I enjoy reading the reviews. I enjoy when members just speak their mind freely rather than using the review module as well. I’m not saying the wheel is completely broken, nor does it need to be reinvented. But how can we collaboratively make it better?
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#59 Brian Robinson

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:57 AM

Feel free to give as much advice on how to improve it as you can. It will be welcomed. Problem is, when it comes down to action, few are really willing to do much. Case in point: the absinthe article and pics. Lots of talk went on in regards to developing something, but when the time came to take action on it, very few people volunteered.

Here's the issue: We developed the 5 star system in order to make it EASIER to give a review, not harder. We originally used the FV system, but it ended up being almost useless because it was entirely too open. 99% of the population wouldn't know whether to give an absinthe a 15 or a 17 for flavor. Same goes with the other rating sections. How do you define the difference between a nose of 22 and 23? A color of 8 or 9? A mouthfeel of 7 and 8?

Along with that, given the fact that anything that just meets the minimum criteria for being defined as absinthe would score in the 50-60 range, then we're really not working with 100 points. We're working with 40-50 points. A wider scale, with that many points, cannot be easily utilized by the general population, which is one of the reasons you don't see many reviews on FV. They had many discussions about this specific problem as well.

To me, the 5 star system creates a very understandable baseline for each quality. Each star level is clearly defined. Most good brands will fall within a range of a few decimal points in terms of overall score. That's the idea. Therein lies the importance of the commentary section.

Every ratings system will have it's flaws. But those flaws will be minimized when more and more reviews are posted, because more and more opinions will be expressed.
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#60 Absomphe

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 10:11 AM

Every ratings system will have it's flaws.


As a sentence may also have its flaws.


Sorry, Brian, couldn't resist. :cheers:

As far as the rating system goes, I agree that every system is flawed, although I honestly prefer the more picayune Fee Verte scoring method...however, when Rome (not too mention that this method requires a bit less agonizing per category), which really appeals to a lazy sot like me. :twitchsmile:

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