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Your Top Ten Commercial Absinthes

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Even with only 9 under my belt, I found it hard to chose-

 

1. Jade Edouard

2. Jade PF1901

3. Roquette 1797

4. Duplais Verte

5. Jade Verte Suisse

6. Kübler 53

7. Brevans HR Giger

8. Lucid

9. Blanchette

 

I'm finding that I am a big Jade Ed. fan, and that it easily makes #1 for me. I love what seems to be a perfect dichotomy of balance and complexity; bold alpine spiciness and at the same time a thick, smooth mouth feel. Probably one of my favorite beverages of any kind that I have ever tried. My favorite description from someone else's review on LFV is "multi dimensional"!

 

2 through 6 are tough to rank in precise order, however, and I guess it would depend on my mood. I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about ranking Lucid higher either. Some days I seem to get quite a lot out of the taste, but some days it seems a bit flat with the peppery notes trying to cover over for the other herbs.

 

It's really interesting to see everyone else's favorites and it's giving me some ideas for things to try in the future.

Edited by Green Baron

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1. Jade Edouard

2. VdF

3. La Matriesse

4. PF 1901

5. Clandestine

6. BdF

7. Marteau

8. NO

9. EdPdF

10.Kübler

 

This will no doubt change before the week, month, year is out. Too bad it's only for commercials.

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baubel, you're far more eclectic than I even dared to think you are. Gee, I could even grow fond of you. (Of course, then I'd be tempted to dissolve you and make a gravy out of you, so forgive me.)

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I'm guessing here but I wonder how much your list would have changed if you had included the top 5 in point gathering instead of just the top three? Or hell, awarded points for anything in the top ten?

 

One other minor point, I think the numbers are a little screwy since your award system makes the number one three-times better (point-wise) than the number three. I suspect most of us labored over what went into the top three and none of us (I'm speculating) would say our top pick was three times better than our third pick.

So.....I collated a new poll based on a 5-pt scoring system, with no. 1 pick getting 5 pts and so on, with no. 5 pick getting 1 pt. Picks that were 6th or worse on peoples' lists got ignored. The poll includes every list up to my post today. Here are the results:

 

1) Jade PF1901 (67 pts)

2) Jade Edouard (48 pts)

3) Bell Amie (40 pts)

4) Jade NO (36 pts)

5) Roquette 1797 (24 pts)

6) Doubs Mystique (19 pts)

7) Jade VS (14 pts)

8) Duplais Balance (13 pts)

9) Duplais Verte (12 pts)

10) Marteau Verte, Eichelberger (10 pts)

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Your work is commendable but the points are still screwy. Instead of adding points, you need to figure out how to average points. I doubt there is anyone here that would suggest the #1 selection is over six times better or even six times more preferred than the #10 selection.

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baubel, you're far more eclectic than I even dared to think you are. Gee, I could even grow fond of you. (Of course, then I'd be tempted to dissolve you and make a gravy out of you, so forgive me.)

 

 

Mmm, Gravy. Actually you could just pour hot water on me.

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Your work is commendable but the points are still screwy. Instead of adding points, you need to figure out how to average points. I doubt there is anyone here that would suggest the #1 selection is over six times better or even six times more preferred than the #10 selection.

That's not really what the numbers mean. A score of 67 doesn't mean 6.7 times more preferred than a score of 10. In fact you don't even have to look at the numbers, I just provided them for curiosity's sake. And if I average them, an absinthe with two ratings of 5 could beat out an absinthe with 10 ratings, 5 of 5, and 5 of 4.

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I understand what you mean and why you went to the trouble. It is commendable. I'm suggesting the numbers are misleading.

 

You wouldn't average all the numbers together but would establish an average score which strangely enough has already been done in the absinthe review section of WS. Even there we can see problems in numbers:

with only a few reviews, an absinthe can be rated very highly or very poorly based on one extreme rating.

 

I like what you've done. Just pointing out the numbers and ranking are screwy.

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But, with regard to meaty's little poll there, it is interesting to me that, in general, the ones at the top seem to be the most well-thought of and the ones lower down do seem to be "second tier" even as far as things like pricing go. So, in other words, it's shaping up to be an ok guide, at least to those of us that have already had a few.

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Plus, not everyone has tried the same 10; or tried 30 to find their favorite 10.

 

That's not the point. What's he's doing is a weighted ranking. The individual numbers have less meaning than where they end up placing the different brands. And I think it's pretty accurate in describing overall what absinthes are recommended and where they fall relative to one another.

 

What absinthes on that list were available 5 years ago?

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Dakini, I think the review system shows a much more accurate picture than a tally of points even though the ranking doesn't change that much. The points create an illusion of rating. Consider the difference between #1 & #3: Points would indicate a significant difference between PF1901 and Belle Amie while the average indicates they are actually very close in both rating and ranking.

 

Point ranking followed by WS Review Score

1) Jade PF1901 (67 pts) 4.7

2) Jade Edouard (48 pts) 4.6

3) Bell Amie (40 pts) 4.5

4) Jade NO (36 pts) 4.1

5) Roquette 1797 (24 pts) 4.6

6) Doubs Mystique (19 pts) 4.4

7) Jade VS (14 pts) 4.3

8) Duplais Balance (13 pts) 4.4

9) Duplais Verte (12 pts) 3.5

10) Marteau Verte, Eichelberger (10 pts) 4.4/4.2

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Dakini, I think the review system shows a much more accurate picture than a tally of points even though the ranking doesn't change that much. The points create an illusion of rating. Consider the difference between #1 & #3: Points would indicate a significant difference between PF1901 and Belle Amie while the average indicates they are actually very close in both rating and ranking.

 

Point ranking followed by WS Review Score

1) Jade PF1901 (67 pts) 4.7

2) Jade Edouard (48 pts) 4.6

3) Bell Amie (40 pts) 4.5

4) Jade NO (36 pts) 4.1

5) Roquette 1797 (24 pts) 4.6

6) Doubs Mystique (19 pts) 4.4

7) Jade VS (14 pts) 4.3

8) Duplais Balance (13 pts) 4.4

9) Duplais Verte (12 pts) 3.5

10) Marteau Verte, Eichelberger (10 pts) 4.4/4.2

 

As I said, you really need to forget about the numbers. The numbers mean very little except to place specific brands into #1, #4, etc. The problem with averaging numbers is exactly what you already brought up. It can become extremely misleading when only a couple people give a nasty absinthe a perfect review and then get that compared to a good quality absinthe that doesn't get exactly perfect reviews, but dozens of people like it and rate it highly. With the system in place at WWS, what I end up having to do is look at how many reviews a (e.g.) 4.6 rating resulted from, and who reviewed them, to see if I trust their review. This puts a very highly subjective element into the interpretation of the review. Say if there were only 1 review for KOSG and the guy is a czechsinth fetishist and gives it all 5's, does that make it better than Pernod Fils 1914??? A weighted scoring system tends to dilute out queer oddball reviews as well as give a nod to how many people actually ranked this absinthe highly. With averages, there is absolutely no way to factor in how many people like this absinthe, and a high probability of very skewed reviews if the absinthe doesn't have alot of reviews to smooth out the average.

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You dog, stop drinking the Scumi stuff and add a little heat, my man, you'll be baskin' in the gravy. Maybe even get a little a pie, on the side. Know what I mean?

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I also have a Masters degree in epidemiology, so I used to be a professional number-cruncher.....for half a year. Then I went to med school, and that's all she wrote. ;)

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It's too bad we don't have a pie chart for all these numbers.

It's too bad we don't have a more formal ratings system which ranks absinthes on a scale of 1-5, and can be sorted by highest ratings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh wait...

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It's too bad it took me almost half a minute to see the final two words of your post.

 

Closer to being on topic, I'd like to thank everyone who posted their favourites. It's been interesting reading.

 

It's too bad we don't have a more formal ratings system which raks absinthes

 

Wouldn't that count as torturing the data?

 

-- T

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I've only had 11 absinthes, but I'm happy to rank the top 10! :heart:

 

1. PF 1901

2. Edouard

3. VS

4. Belle Amie

5. Combier Blanchette

6. NO

7. Marteau

8. Duplais (not the Balance)

9. Lucid

10. Kübler 53

 

Bonus listing -- least favorite: Montmartre

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As I said, you really need to forget about the numbers. The numbers mean very little except to place specific brands into #1, #4, etc.
I understand your point here, that what you present isn't where the absinthes fall on an objective scale, but rather relative only to one another.
With the system in place at WWS, what I end up having to do is look at how many reviews a (e.g.) 4.6 rating resulted from, and who reviewed them, to see if I trust their review. This puts a very highly subjective element into the interpretation of the review.
This is true of all reviews. The critical factor is determining an agreed-upon set of criteria and how valuable those criteria are relative to one another, when creating the system. If a reviewer understands how the system works and applies it properly, you get an accurate but subjective view of how well that reviewer believes the absinthe to by that criteria.

 

If the reviewer doesn't understand the system and rates the absinthe according to how well they like it compared to another, you get a distorted view.

Say if there were only 1 review for KOSG and the guy is a czechsinth fetishist and gives it all 5's, does that make it better than Pernod Fils 1914??? A weighted scoring system tends to dilute out queer oddball reviews as well as give a nod to how many people actually ranked this absinthe highly.
The WS System is weighted. The weights are built into the software:
The scores here are weighted so that more important criteria, such as taste, have a stronger impact on the final score than less important ones like say, aroma. That is to say that a five-point rating on flavor is heavier than a five-point rating on louche.For those interested in the mathmatics, these are the percentages used:

 

Color 16%

Louche 16%

Aroma 18%

Flavor 20%

Finish 10%

Overall 20%

Total 100%

 

In this way the general taste and flavor of the absinthe, clearly the most important criteria, are broken into flavor and finish, sharing 30% of the total score. These along with overall impression account for 50% of the score, leaving the remaining three criteria to share the other 50%, with aroma being the more important of the three.

With averages, there is absolutely no way to factor in how many people like this absinthe, and a high probability of very skewed reviews if the absinthe doesn't have alot of reviews to smooth out the average.
There's no way around this that I'm aware of. The reviews will only become more meaningful as they accumulate. In the end, this is only a subjective guide to popular absinthes, not a definitive rating. For that, you need a panel of experts, or at least people who really know absinthe, doing blind tastings.

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Say if there were only 1 review for KOSG and the guy is a czechsinth fetishist and gives it all 5's, does that make it better than Pernod Fils 1914??? A weighted scoring system tends to dilute out queer oddball reviews as well as give a nod to how many people actually ranked this absinthe highly.
The WS System is weighted. The weights are built into the software.
On that same note, seeing KOSG rated all 5's would raise red flags, not only because it's tough to give ANYTHING all 5's, but also because anyone who knows both the product and the ratings system would know that the reviewer wasn't using the system correctly.

 

For that, you need a panel of experts, or at least people who really know absinthe, doing blind tastings.
Stay tuned...

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A long time ago a few of us did a blind blanche tasting. One person took the fountain into another room and louched up a bunch of blanches both CO and HG. Many of the results were what you would expect, but not all. I remember being surprised at how well some of the commercials fared. I don't remember much else.

 

:drunk:

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To paraphrase Ron Jeffries,

A really great absinthe is going to be different for every individual, and not only every individual, but every moment of your day and every day of your life because there are so many different flavors out there within different absinthes that go with so many different foods or different weather.

:cool-reaper:

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Okeydoke, I know it is in all likelihood gonna be different tomorrow, here are my top 10 as of now:

 

1. PF 1901

 

2. Roquette 1797

 

3. Eichelberger Verte 68

 

4. Doubs Mystique

 

5. Combier Blanchette

 

6. Jade Edouard

 

7. Jade NO

 

8. Brevans

 

9. Blanche Traditionelle Brut d'alambic Essai #3 (still have half a bottle)

 

10. Jade Verte Suisse

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I think I'm going to wait to blow my load of my top ten until I've tried all the major offerings at LDF and a few at absinthe.de. This will be followed by an orgy of absinthe reviews. I think I already have a ménage à trois of favorites though (so far). :devil:

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