- Aroma: 6/12 6/12
- Appearance: 2/3 2/3
- Flavor: 11/20 9/20
- Mouthfeel: 3/5 3/5
- Overall Impression: 6/10 5/10
- Total: 26/50 26/50
Baltic Porter -
American Pale Ale -
Munich Dunkel -
Belgian Wit -
Overall I ended up with 46%; pretty average, not so bad for my first year at this. Especially since I wasn't really targeting the styles with most of these and was brewing for my own taste. I didn't even know about the competition till I before I started the Saison and Wit. The judges' scoresheets were written in pencil and scanned, so there's a few cases where I'm not sure what they wrote, so I just put in ??? below.
Saison - My comment: Added anise and I don't think people care much for anise or licorice flavors. Judges: #2 tight yeast pack on bottom of bottle, mild gushing
- Aroma: #1 Spicy, tart, fruity esters, low sour. #2 Floral sweet nose up front with a hint of banana dn citrus. No DMS, no Diacetyl, no hop aroma detected. may sound odd, but kind of like new car.
- Appearance: #1 Ivory lace, nice amber #2 purs light copper with moderat haze, big fluffy light tan head lingers leaving a thin layer of foam that holds indefinitely, no lacing.
- Flavor: #1 Dry spicy very soft malt.#2 Rich malt character up front followed by a bit of sourness, citrus rind and peppery note. Finishes a bit sweet and grainy for the style. No diacetyl, no DMS detected, Hop bitterness is light.
- Mouthfeel: #1 Medium body, medium warmth, a little acidity #2 light bodied, high in carbonation, finishes very dry as per style. Not much heat or creaminess, also to style.
- Overall: #1 Tart little too much, warming, but a nice drinking beer overall. #2 Nice light, dry easy drinker, could be a bit heavy on the phenolics, maybe start cool and ramp up w/fermentation. Showed early signs of oxidation, but not offputting. maybe try to minimize splashing and cap on foam.
Baltic Porter - My comment: Added more licorice than prior batches and I'm sure that turned them off, but I'm one of the few black licorice afficiandoes. If I'd had one of the prior batches, I would have entered that instead as they had a better balance with the malts.
#1 Bottle conditioned, foamed on opening. #2 Gusher with clumpy pour.
- Aroma: #1 Yeasty smell up front with smooth roasty aromas underneath. #2 Yeasty, vinous, very slight roast, no hops.
- Appearance: #1 Cloudy reddish-brown, low tan head that persists. #2 dark brown, good head retention.
- Flavor: #1 Metallic, tinny, blood-like flavor overwhelms roast malt. (so much for putting my blood, sweat and tears into my brewing) #2 Dark fruit, no hop flavor, some alcohol, metallic, bloodlike.
- Mouthfeel: #1 Light-medium bodied, medium carbonation #2 Smooth, medium body, low carbonation, warming.
- Overall: #1 From the chunky yeast slurry in the bottle to the metallic, blood-like flavor, this beer misses the mark. Only the color and head were appealling. Check your water mineral salts content or bronze fittings on your equipment. (I had put down the licorice as a special ingredient, but I'm sure that didn't make it to the judges.) #2 Smooth drinking with a metallic aftertaste, alcohol warming, but not harsh.
American Pale Ale - My comment: Not sure what would have turned them off with this; I added some coriander, but it wasn't that prominent. Dry hopped it with Cascade, but I thought it was pretty well done. Awful lot of competition in this category. However, if they allowed it to warm up too much, I'm sure it wouldn't be that good. With all the entries in this style, there is a fair chance it was sitting on the judging table for a while waiting its turn.
- Aroma: #1 Not much hop aroma, very light grassy smell. Nice malt scent, dose have slight off aroma. #2 First whiff - phenolic/medicine and then mellows. Expected some citrus but found none. #3 lots of yeasty phenols, no detectable hops. Light grainy character masked by off-flavors.
- Appearance: #1 Nice amber color, off-white head, decent head retention. #2 Pale golden, clear, very good foam and bubble retention, good overall presentation. #3 Gold color, chill haze medium, foamy, white head.
- Flavor: #1 Off tasting not very hop, but give a tart ???. #2 Tastes a bit cardboard - oxidized, not tasting citrus nor floral, very mild hops. #3 Missing the hop and malt character of a pale ale.
- Mouthfeel: #1 Was smooth but left a wax feel in mouth. #2 good carbonation and smooth finish. #3 CO2 level is ok, slight warmth.
- Overall: #1 Not very good smell or taste. May need more hop at end of ???. The beer had off flavor may ?? grain or yeast. #3 Needs improvements to process and temperature control.
Munich Dunkel - My comment: Probably could have been a bit maltier, as I was on the low end of the ABV at 4%. Was just hoping there wouldn't be much competition, but turns out if you don't make at least a 40/50, you can't even place.
- Aroma: #1 Malty sweetness and light roastiness. Light nuttiness and chocalately notes. No hop aroma. #2 Nice malt aroma, slight chocolate, and rich winter dessert nose, in style. Slight roasty aroma.
- Appearance: #1 Dark brown with ruby highlights, very clear, large tan head - good retention. #2 Rich ruby garnet, thick head, very creamy but overcarbonated. (which it must have gotten just in the 3 weeks sitting at 80 degrees at the LHBS after I submitted it, because it sure wasn't before, but that only cost me a point).
- Flavor: #1 Light Munich malt, no hop flavor noted, low bitterness, clean dry finish. But seems thin and lacking big malt flavor. #2 Flavor leaves me wanting rore. lacks malt depth, but what is there is balanced. Choclate and caramel are appropriate but thin. No diacetyl. Flavor fades with head.
- Mouthfeel: #1 Light body, hightly carbonated at first but later seems flat. #2 Medium to light mouthfeel, should be more. Astringency is appropriate and clean.
- Overall: #1 Pretty beer, but lacks the big bready, malty aroma/flavor for this style. #2 Good beer, No great flaws, Easy drinking with balanced toasty caramel chocolate. Should be richer with stronger malt presence.
Belgian Wit - My comment: Orange peels didn't add much flavor, maybe some off-bitterness. Probably shouldn't have used a navel orange. But I thought it came out pretty well in spite of it. Guess I need to raise my standards or use better ingredients. But will be interested in the comments on this one as well as the APA.
- Aroma: #1 Light sweetness with slight honey and grainy. moderate coriander with slight pepper in background. Nice low hop aroma. #2 Strong wheat aroma with hints of coriander. Belgian yeast characters. Lacks sufficient fruit, floral or sweet aromas to balance the wheat.
- Appearance: #1 Great color, very dense mousey head, and very good head retention, ??? the ??for style. #2 Gold colar with great clarity. Huge head from pour that dissapated quickly.
- Flavor: #1 The tartness is very forward and finish is very dry. Coriander is a little too forward. Spice flavor is more pronounced than fruitiness. #2 Spicy and tart with some typical Belgian yeast charactes. The flavor is missing a balance between the wheat and the other desired flavors. Slight hint of honey, but could use more honey flavor.
- Mouthfeel: #1 Very light with very little creaminess, slightly ?? & thin. #2 High acidity, More body would be nice. CO2 is high (which is acceptable).
- Overall: #1 A very refreshing beer that is slightly too tart/sour for style. #2 Easy to drink beer that is a decent Belgian Ale but misses the style guides.