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Brian Robinson

Absinthe Review Module

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Having been reviewing all of the entries over the past few days, I wanted to bring something up to see what people think.

 

I'm a strong believer that rating the color of an absinthe should reflect the skill involved with the additional coloration step by rewarding well colored absinthes above and beyond what a blanche would get.

 

To that end, my thoughts would be that the proper score for a blanche that is perfectly clear and bright would be a 4, while a beautifully colored verte should end up with a 5.

 

I've seen many reviews, including some of my own, where a blanche was given a 5 for being clear. For example, Kübler rates the same score by users as does VC. The only reason this is the case is due to the color rating.

 

What are people's thoughts about making a note in the scoring instructions that blanches should top out at a 4 for color given the above explanation?

 

If we find an agreement on this, we can have those who have submitted reviews for blanches to go in and update their scores. That might also be a good opportunity to retaste it and rescore.

 

And I know there will be a few people who might be concerned about this change in scoring, such as blanche producers, but having looked at the scores, brands like CLB stand out in other categories as well, not just color, so their scores shouldn't be that affected.

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Just rename the category "Color or Clarity". A perfectly clear blanche gets a 5, and one that looks like piss will get a zero. Just a thought.

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I know what you're saying. It's pretty easy to give a 5 for a blanche, which could really inflate the entire score. It's definitely harder to give a verte a 5.

 

 

This was something that I thought about when we did the blind tasting in Ocean City.

Edited by LeRoy M.

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I think it should stay as is. The blanche/verte clarity/color issue was something I gave a lot of thought to when tweaking the system. With either one, it's the visual appearance that's being evaluated by this criteria; if it truly looks perfect, it should get a five, IMHO.

 

The clarity or brilliance of a blanche shouldn't be taken for granted. Most people don't know that absinthe doesn't always come out of the still perfectly clear; it doesn't just automatically be brilliant and white. We've seen blanches that are bright and clear, yet have a tint of color. It's also possible to get a haze that could easily go undetected in a verte.

 

I think rather than change the system, it may be more productive to inform people of the errors that can happen in a blanche's appearance.

 

Hold it up to the light next to a similar sample of distilled water. Is it really clear or does it have a haze? Put the samples in a deep, slender vessel and look down at them over a piece of white paper. Is the blanche truly colorless? Etc.

 

If you're going to score something as perfect, you should take measures to make sure it really is.

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Blanchette is one that probably could rate lower due to it's sometimes "straw like" color. Although, I got a bottle of blanchette last week and it was pretty darn white. I only looked at it at the office but will scrutinize it closer in a few days. I'm waiting for my blanche time. *smile*

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I've been going by your suggestion ever since I read it some time ago. But to some degree that does penalize a blanche just for being a blanche.

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I've never thought the color of an absinthe was that important, anyway. What really matters most in the "coloration" step is the additional flavors imparted by the coloring herbs. Therefore, I say let the numbers remain as they are.

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Good decision. I don't think it would have been right to penalise a blanche just for being a blanche.

 

I wonder if it is ideal to be comparing blanches with vertes so directly in any case. It seems I am not the only one who thinks this. At this year's Absinthiades, they decided after several years to split the categories differently. Macerates were not included at all, and the vertes and blanches were judged separately for the first time.

 

One possibility you might want to consider is to enable separation of the reviews between vertes and blanches. Pressing the verte or blanche category on any of the absinthes currently leads to a 404 Not Found message.

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That is a very good suggestion.

 

(I'm not just kissing butt because I like his absinthe either.....)

 

(Well....maybe a little......)

 

(OK....a lot. I expect some compensation for the online smooching of your backside.)

 

(No..seriously.....)

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