« on: April 17, 2015, 06:03:59 AM »
First of all, that's an excellent first scoresheet. You filled the space with lots of details and vivid descriptions. If you could do that within 15 minutes, I think you'd pass easily - even with some errors.
I won't reiterate MDixon's comments, but I agree with them.
You mention spice being derived from spice additions rather than yeast in Overall Impression. We rarely concern ourselves with how a sample was produced, only the outcome. You'll also score higher if you don't assume certain processes. Graders want to see feedback that is specific and something the brewer can DO. So better feedback would be - Spice is a bit too high. Try reducing spice additions by 25% if using actual spices, or ferment cooler to reduce phenol production by yeast. Or try a less phenolic yeast strain (an actual strain you like would great, if you know one).
And for the record, 16C says "A wide variety of herbs and spices are often used to add complexity and uniqueness in the stronger versions, but should always meld well with the yeast and hop character. " So the spices are definitely OK, though you're thought that they are too strong is valid. There is also more push in the 2015 guidelines to be open to 'style interpretation'.
Efficiency note - you wrote 'aroma' three times in the aroma section. That's just a waste since everything written there is about the aroma. Try to avoid that to save time and space.
You don't mention malt or hops at all in flavor. I know the spice was strong, but if you added those spices to water it would not taste the same, because the malt IS adding flavor. It's probably light and bready/wheaty? Also, hops contribute bitterness as well as flavor, so you must mention both. At a minimum, you should have something like - low malt, low hop bitterness, no hop flavor.
Given your comments I would have gone with a high 30's score. Maybe 37/38.