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Malt Madness Feedback

So here is what the judges had to say about my two entries in the Belgian Dubbel category:

Travelers & Tourists: 31.5 Overall

Judge #1: 31/50 (Recognized BJCP Judge)

Aroma: Malty aromas with plum ester, no hop aroma, light spiciness (6/12)
Appearance: Deep amber, thick long-lasting off while head, clear (3/3)
Flavor: Dark malt flavors, raisin flavors, no hop flavors, skewed to malt with a dry finish (14/20)
Mouthfeel: Smooth with high carbonation, low alcohol warmth, moderate body – dry but not astringent (3/5)
Overall Impression: Dark rich with all appropriate flavors. Bit rough of a finish, aging may help. (5/10)

Judge #2: 32/50

Aroma: Raisins, Marshmellow, Malty. Nice! (10/12)
Appearance: Brown with slight haze (2/3)
Flavor: Malt & rasins with malty finish. Alcohol evident, some heat in aftertaste. Spicy with some phenols, appropriate for style. (12/20)
Mouthfeel: Medium. Med-high carbonation, appropriate for style. (3/5)
Overall Impression: A very good representation of the style, however the alcohol heat takes away from the smoothness. Needs more malt dextrins for smoothness. Possibly aging this would improve it also. Well done! (5/10)

Malady Abbey Brown: 34.5 Overall

Judge #1: 34/50 (Recognized BJCP Judge)

Aroma: Rich malty aroma, cherry ester aromas, light spicy phenol aroma. No hop aroma, no alcohol or solvent. (8/12)
Appearance: Deep amber, thick long lasting off-white head, clear (3/3)
Flavor: Light malt flavor – may need a touch more flavor. Balanced to a bit sweet with a vanishing (?) finish (14/20)
Mouthfeel: Light body, smooth, no alcohol warmth, high carbonation (3/5)
Overall Impression: Great aroma but a bit light in malts. May need a bit more grain. Clean (6/12)

Judge #2: 35/50

Aroma: Malt, esters, clean! spicy (9/12)
Appearance: Copper, nice & clear! Looks good! (3/3)
Flavor: Malty sweet with some lingering sweetness in the finish. Alcohol is in background, where it belongs. A smooth finish that makes you want more. Possibly a bit high on the maltiness (15/20)
Mouthfeel: Medium Lign, I wonder if the gravity is on the low side for style. (4/5)
Overall Impression: Very clean, smooth, and correct style. Alcohol is soft and brew is malty. Good example of style, though more complexity would make this better. Possibly ferment a few degrees warmer, or use a more assertive / complex yeast. Nicely done. (8/10)

So there it is. Neither of my dubbels did bad, but they clearly preferred the Abbey Brown. I wonder if they drank the TnT earlier than the Malady, because when it is too cold its character doesn’t shine through as well. God knows, I am convinced that your placement in the sampling chronology and a bit of luck is a huge contributor to the scores – Go too early and your beer will be cold (maybe too cold), but the judges will be reluctant to give high scores because they don’t know what is coming next. Get shoved to the end, and the judges palates could be completely overloaded, and they’ll barely taste your beer.

My 3rd place for the Abbey Brown won me a free vial of White Labs and some Brewer’s Gold hops. No clue what we got for the Barleywine, but I’m not too worried about it.

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Categories: competitions
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  1. September 13, 2007 at 9:11 pm

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