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Should a blanche get a 4 or 5 for color?


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#1 tayker

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 04:53 AM

Brian, why don't you give 5's for blanches?
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#2 Ron

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 06:12 AM

Because there is almost no skill required to perfectly color something that's clear! The vertes, however, take quite a bit of know how.
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#3 Brian Robinson

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 09:29 AM

It might not seem fair, and I know several other people don't agree with my opinion on that matter, but that's exactly why.
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#4 Ron

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 09:40 AM

Brian, perhaps simply renaming that category from "color" to "coloration" might help?
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#5 peridot

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 01:36 PM

It might not seem fair, and I know several other people don't agree with my opinion on that matter, but that's exactly why.

Yeah, I really disagree with that. To me it's not about the skill involved, it's about fulfilling the requirements. Perhaps the colour category should be weighted differently for blanches so that you can still score them on mistakes (like being yellow or strawlike) but not give the same weight to a perfect 5 that a verte gets.

I can't not give a perfectly clear, debris-free blanche a 5. It is what it is, regardless of interpretation as to why it is. I'm not taking process into account when I score, just what I'm looking at and drinking.

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#6 Absomphe

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 01:56 PM

What he said, verbatim.

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#7 Joe Legate

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 03:47 PM

It would seem that the vertes and blanches are held to different standards with the advantage going to the blanche.

#8 Brian Robinson

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 04:16 PM

If they are scored a 5 for color, then you would be correct.
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#9 peridot

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 04:17 PM

There has to be a better way of handling it than simply penalizing a blanche for being a blanche. To me that seems like the worst possible way to go about it.

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#10 Joe Legate

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 04:35 PM

I am obviously missing something. I see the reviews all giving the blanches "5" for color. Beautifully colored vertes are getting "4".

I must have walked-in on a conversation and took something out of context. Meh.

#11 peridot

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 04:56 PM

I'm responding to Brian saying he doesn't 5's to blanches.

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#12 Brian Robinson

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:00 PM

There has to be a better way of handling it than simply penalizing a blanche for being a blanche.

To me, it's not penalizing a blanche if I score it a 4, whose definition is: "Clear, bright and natural. Very attractive."

Instead, rating a verte a 5 is giving it credit for undergoing an additional production step that can just as easily ruin the distillate as improve it.

But, I don't think there's much to worry about Peridot, I think there are very few people who employ the same rating technique as I.

I am obviously missing something. I see the reviews all giving the blanches "5" for color. Beautifully colored vertes are getting "4".

Ding ding ding.
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#13 Ron

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:02 PM

I completely agree with Brian here. If the producer has managed not to capture heads and tails in his distillate, then the resulting ethanol is clear. It can't be anything BUT clear. For doing your job correctly, here's a 5-star rating? I just can't see that logic.
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#14 Brian Robinson

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:05 PM

Oh, and as a quick follow up, I've only given a '5' for color 5 times (for non-vintage stuff) out of almost 100 reviews, so it's not like I'm quick to give vertes a '5' either.
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#15 peridot

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:10 PM

The fact is that with that review philosophy, a verte has a higher maximum potential score than a blanche. It is not possible for it to max out on one of the scores before the bottle has even been opened. This indicates that a blanche is not just a different style, but an inferior one. That's why I think the solution should be a separate category and weighting for blanches. That makes it possible to give a blanche a 5 but proportionally give other categories greater importance regarding the final score.

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#16 Brian Robinson

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:16 PM

Unless we delete all previous reviews for blanches and start from scratch, that's not possible.

Keep in mind, there's always a level of subjectivity to reviews. If I tasted a blanche that absolutely blew my socks off and I thought was perfect, of course I'd adjust the score so it can be a perfect 5, and I'd make a note explaining the departure from my norm. I just haven't come across one.
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#17 Ron

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:29 PM

That's why I think the solution should be a separate category and weighting for blanches.

You would have to completely drop the color category for rating blanches then, as they only exemplify the absence of color. If a blanche is yellow, or anything but clear, it's flawed. And that might as well go in the overall comments. There really can't be any sliding scale between 1-5 for color on something that's perfectly clear. What then would be the difference between a clear 3 and a clear 5?

Using the current rating scheme, giving a blanche a 5 for color artificially inflates the overall score, comparatively speaking, which means vertes are competing against inflated blanches. Unfair.

[Edit] Perhaps the overall score for a blanche review can be generated without the color rating included?

IF absinthetype is "blanche"
THEN overall equals [(louche+aroma+flavor+finish)/4]
ELSE overall equals [(color+louche+aroma+flavor+finish)/5]
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#18 peridot

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:41 PM

I entirely disagree. I'll leave it at that.

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#19 Butch Onufrak

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 07:08 PM

GOTO beginning else END!!
Sorry I couldn't resist..
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#20 dakini_painter

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:05 AM

If a blanche is yellow, or anything but clear, it's flawed.


Guess blanchette was flawed then. I thought it was pretty good.

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#21 tayker

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:08 AM

On the WS Evaluation sheet is says:
"In a blanche, or white absinthe, the color should be crystal clear and white and free of any tint or hue."

If a blanche can't get fairly rated, what does it say about the reviewer or the site that is allowing it to happen? On a personal level I can understand, but on a level where a person or group is supporting a cause then I think it can taint things, and give opponents more ammo.
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#22 tayker

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:10 AM

Because there is almost no skill required to perfectly color something that's clear! The vertes, however, take quite a bit of know how.

Ah, so the skill isn't in the making of the absinthe, it's in the color.
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#23 Brian Robinson

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:30 AM

Of course not. But you can't deny that it takes additional effort and skill to color an absinthe properly.

Tayker, are you really saying the ratings for blanches on this site are detracting from our cause?

I think this is getting a tad bit overblown.

Looking over the composite reviews of blanches and vertes, I don't see anything that seems objectionable.

Can anyone find a specific blanche absinthe in our review system that is unfairly rated based on composite reviews? If so, we can obviously discuss it. But I've never seen an actual case of a brand being 'discriminated against'.

As I mentioned previously, I don't know many people who employ my method of scoring.

What's striking though, is that my overall score for those brands is quite comparable to those who score blanches a 5. So how does that hurt the brand? Take a look at the ratings for Duplais Blanche as a good example.
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#24 tayker

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:42 AM

I think if the WS is about promoting honesty about absinthe, and blanches aren't looked at equally as vertes then I do think it detracts.

Is blanche and absinthe? If yes then I think there should be a 5 rating (as explained in the WS evaluation sheet - which I feel equalized everything).

If no then chuck it in the czechsinth category and focus on the vertes.

Next question, is the WS for educating people about absinthe? If yes, and yes to the earlier question, then why the disparity in an official review. I do commend the upfront honesty of the "no 5 stars," but not in an official review from an official reviewer. Didn't we have a thread pinging the WSJ on its selections of absinthe?

If no then everything I'm saying is wasting people's time. :)

Again, I think the WS evaluation sheet is perfect if followed accordingly.

Edit:
My spelling and grammar sucks. It's even worse when I'm trying to shave and get my daughter ready for a trip with grandma.
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#25 Brian Robinson

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:49 AM

I've already explained why giving a 4 for color fits within the definition.
I've also already explained that reviews are subjective and it's very possible that I could give a blanche a perfect 5 overall score.
I've already explained that I rarely even give vertes a 5 for color.
Further, I've explained that my overall scores differ very little from those who give 5s for color.
Lastly, I've explained how the overall scores don't seem detrimentally affected by my personal ratings preference, based on composite scores.

So, what's the problem?

If I were to automatically give a blanche a 5 for color, then it would be blanches not vertes that have an unfair advantage, based on my strict criteria for giving a verte a 5. Blanches would have inflated scores compared to a verte that I might actually find a better product.

Each reviewer, expert or otherwise, has their own individual preferences. I feel that, based on my official reviews and my blind tasting results, my reviews are well founded, since my formal review scores differ very little from my blind review scores. They differ the least amongst everyone I've compared. That shows me that my palate is reliable, and that I don't let personal relationships or 'brand loyalties' affect my scores.

We don't all have to agree. Believe me, I've seen plenty of reviews I disagree with completely, yet they are just as valid. Some people prefer blanches, and will inherently give them higher scores than vertes. Others will do the complete opposite. However, looking over my historical scores, even though I prefer vertes to blanches, my blanche reviews seem equally fair and stand up against scrutiny based on comparable scores.

In the end, the most important thing is to get as many people to post reviews as possible. The average score from 20 reviews is more important than any individual one.
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#26 Brian Robinson

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:54 AM

FYI, for clarity, I'll be splitting the color rating discussion from this thread soon.
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#27 Ron

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:57 AM

Because there is almost no skill required to perfectly color something that's clear! The vertes, however, take quite a bit of know how.

Ah, so the skill isn't in the making of the absinthe, it's in the color.

You're kidding right? We're talking about the color rating. A colorless blanche doesn't rate a 5, in my opinion. And I'm not sure I understand any argument to the contrary.

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#28 tayker

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 08:00 AM

Edit: Reply was to Brian

I disagree that 4 fits with the WS Evaluation Sheet.

It's nothing personal against you, so I don't know why you're getting miffed.

What's the problem? That blanches get a different review because they don't go through a coloring process like the vertes. That's like saying a woman can't act in a combat capacity - both are human beings, but why the disparity? (I don't want to go off on a political tangent, just trying to clarify my point).

The verte, as stated in the WS evaluation sheet, has other nuances to be judged, and both the blanche and verte are specifically outlined on the sheet.

Maybe we should just do away with the "official review?"

To restate, it's nothing personal Brian. I feel that the WS has an image, and if that image doesn't reflect with the data being put out then I think it detracts. If anything, I feel your honesty is helping to refine the direction for everyone, not making you look bad. Sorry if I came across that way.
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#29 tayker

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 08:08 AM

Because there is almost no skill required to perfectly color something that's clear! The vertes, however, take quite a bit of know how.

Ah, so the skill isn't in the making of the absinthe, it's in the color.

You're kidding right? We're talking about the color rating. A colorless blanche doesn't rate a 5, in my opinion. And I'm not sure I understand any argument to the contrary.

I'm being sarcastic. I explained myself more elsewhere.

If you review per the WS evaluation sheet, it's outlined as follows:

"COLOR - The color should be natural and organic-looking. Greens and whites (clear) are most traditional. Deep yellow and golden-brown amber hues (feuille mort, or “fallen-leaf” colors) are acceptable and often indicate a more aged absinthe. Reds, while apparently very rare, were not unknown. The color should be pleasing and have nuance. Clarity is part of color; the absinthe should be clear and bright, with a minimum of haze and sediment. In a blanche, or white absinthe, the color should be crystal clear and white and free of any tint or hue."

As a WS member, I try to stay true to what is outlined. Anything outside of that I will elaborate my opinion because I'm not an "official reviewer." As a WS official, it's one thing to say "I'm not fond of the licorice flavorings of anise," it's another to say "I don't give 5 to blanches." One is about a person's tastes, the other is about a person's bias.
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#30 Brian Robinson

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 08:09 AM

I disagree that 4 fits with the WS Evaluation Sheet.

How? Does every diamond get a rating of perfectly clear? No. So, why should all clear blanches automatically get a 5?

It's nothing personal against you, so I don't know why you're getting miffed.

I'm not. It just seems like you're eschewing all of my comments about review parity.

What's the problem? That blanches get a different review

No they don't.

Maybe we should just do away with the "official review?"

Why? Especially given all of the evidence of reliability mentioned above, I find it's a good idea to have several 'experts' who are versed in doing absinthe reviews, and know how to give an unbiased one.

if that image doesn't reflect with the data being put out then I think it detracts.

Given all of the points made in my previous posts, I don't see how you can say the data being put out is detracting from the image of the WS in any way.
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