I am not a BJCP judge. I have judged at sanctioned competitions. I have organized BJCP competitions and I have stewarded at local and NHC level. Some people judging at BJCP level are not doing what they were awarded their credentials for. The score sheets are sorely lacking in useful information and thoroughness.
This is very disappointing to people competing to better their beers. For some judges, it's obvious that judging has become a chore they don't enjoy or take as seriously as they should. They should stop judging.
Fortunately, there are a huge number of qualified judges doing an exemplary job of providing the feedback most of us are competing for. It's the luck of the draw really. Don't give up after one or two crumby experiences. After a while, some of the score sheets become entertaining in what they reveal about the judge!
You can not judge something with no criteria against which to judge. In beer comps it's the style guideline.
Trust me...there is nothing so heartbreaking as tasting an absolutely perfect beer that can't win only because it has been entered in the wrong category, but, there's plenty of opportunity to commend the brewer in the final section of the score sheet. (overall impression)
when you're having to judge it.
Judges do a thankless job, at their own expense. They miss out on some of the activities at NHC and other festivals where the competitions are held. They travel to various locations at their own expense and all they get are measly points toward higher ranking for their efforts. They should never, ever be dissed. Shame on Jamil for doing so. He's undoubtedly a great brewer and I respect that, but it's disappointing to hear that he made disparaging comments when so many homebrewers idolize him. Go ahead and criticize when it is called for. Judges need to be held to high standards if they are going to contribute to the brewing community, but it can be done in a civil and constructive manner. Then again, the whole tenor of the Brewing Network programs is very juvenile, albeit, while providing some good information.