I can't put my finger on it... but there's just something wrong about lowering scores for a lack of intangibles.Not sure I understand? I can see it easily being a difference maker when you get to that point. If it knocks the Overall Impression down to an 8, Flavor to a 15 or 16, and Aroma to a 9 or 10, you're already 10 points in the hole.
If something's intangible, you shouldn't notice it anyway.
So you lost points because someone noticed that they failed to notice what wasn't there.
Maybe they chose their words poorly.
I don't understand how somebody even thought that made sense to put on a score sheet. When judging against a detailed criteria, like the BJCP guide, the score should reflect how well the beer compared to the criteria set out and nothing else. A judge should not be making up new criteria.
It doesn't even make sense to talk about intangibility and beer. Beer is judged on sensory perception alone. If a character about the beer is intangible--cannot be grasped--then it is either not present or impossible to judge. This is somebody who has spent too much time watching ESPN talking heads blabber on about intangibles with sports players.
I suspect the judge thought this was a keen way to explain that the beer was flat flavor-wise or lacked complexity that would have given a better impression. Saying it lacked intangibility is worthless to the brewer. The judge should have mentioned with specificity what was lacking.
It's judging like that which makes me feel comfortable not entering competitions.