This is the problem every review system gets into. Arguing about symantics.
I am genuinely not trying to argue semantics. I'm trying to have a lively debate as to the theory and purpose of the review system here on WS. I put a lot of time and energy into my reviews, and feel I have a right to input in this regard.
That is old information, from before the criteria was changed. It must have not been updated, wherever you found that passage.
Also, and I quote from the WS review guidelines;
This is your overall feeling about this absinthe. You can equalize any deficits you feel may have resulted from the scorings above. While an absinthe might technically score lower on the above criteria, it may have some other quality that mitigates that deficit."
However, regardless of where you found that, the new criteria, which is on each online review states that a 5 should be "Perfect. No improvements needed."
The old criteria said that the definition of a 5 was 'Thank you, I'll have another!' Obviously that definition had a hell of a lot more wiggle room.
It's on the "Absinthe Review & Scoring Guide " page, and the PDF of the evaluation sheet. But that's not the point. The point is that originally, the category of "Overall" was not intended to represent anything resembling a final score, at least according to that explanation. It seems to have been intended to be just one more building block toward the final score.
It seems that the definition for a "5" overall has gone from no definition whatsoever to one that is so narrowly defined as to be equally useless. Perhaps the distillers can interpret that, but mere mortals and lay people will be hard pressed to conceive of "perfect". Also, and this speaks to the purpose of these reviews. Who are we primarily talking to? Distillers or the consuming public? Distillers are their own worst critics. They don't necessarily need us. I'm sure they have a certain appreciation of our input, but they have each other and an understanding of their art, that if we think we can equal that, we are probably being just a little arrogant.
In this scoring system;
1 implies a range.
2 implies a range.
3 implies a range.
4 implies a range.
5 at least at this point is... exactly that. An exact point. How do we know? As long as perfection is the criteria, a rating of "5" in any category is as useless as the former definition for "Overall".
5 should also imply a range. It should be narrow, elite, and well defined.
Why SHOULD it? I don't think it should imply a range. An overall of 5 is the equivalent of giving a score of 100 to a wine. That's not a range. That's the TOP of the system. Nowhere else to go. It SHOULD be difficult to define perfection. That's the whole point.
Well, OK. That's where we disagree. I think it should. Again, the category of "Overall" is just one of the categories that builds the final score. An absinthe is only the equivalent of 100 points if it scores "5" in every category, including "Overall", in my opinion. "Overall is Not
the final score. And I don't agree that it is difficult to define perfection. I think it is nearly impossible.
For everyone's information, the 100 point "Parker" based wine scoring systems work like this;
05 points for color
15 points for nose
20 points for palate and finish
10 points for overall quality and potential longevity
This is added to a baseline of 50 points.
To say that a score of "5" in the WS system for the one category of "Overall" is equal to 100 points in the Parker system, is like saying that to be awarded the maximum in any one category of the Parker system, for a wine, is equivalent to 100 points, regardless of what that wine earned in other categories. It simply doesn't work that way.
Bottom line is this: There is a lot of hemming and hawing about how the system is flawed. However, if a majority of the society can't come to a concensus on what to change, then nothing will be done.
Right now we need less of 'The system is flawed' and more of 'This is how the system should be fixed'. We can't change the system unless it's clear that the majority of users find the new changes advantageous. If we get to that point, then it will be changed.
Brian, I'm not here to argue with you for argument's sake, believe me. I'm up way too late doing this. I'm making the case because I have never thought the system was quite right, I take it seriously, and I put a lot of effort into my reviews. In my opinion, I think the review section of WS is to, first and foremost, assist consumers in their search for absinthes that they each will find satisfying. Next, it exists to provide feedback to producers to enlighten them to consumer preferences. To set up a system that attempts to define perfection rather than excellence seems, to me, to be a futile exercise on our part, and a short selling of the potential information we can dispense for the benefit of the consumer.