Author Topic: My tasting exam  (Read 1218 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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My tasting exam
« on: September 14, 2014, 02:48:17 PM »
Well, it finally happened. Yesterday was the road trip to Hanford for the big test. I was nervous for oh about 9 months leading up to it. James, who by the way is one of the kindest people you'll ever meet, put on a great exam experience. I had long lost in laws waiting at home so I couldn't stick around to hear what the proctors thought of the beers. James peeked at my scores and mentioned the 39 I gave the Belgian Blond was going to be out of wack, but I got it right because it was a freshy sample of Leffe. I initially gave it a 42 but panicked and lowered it.

The line up, if I recall correctly, was Schwartz - Helles - Belgian Blond - APA - Weizenbock - RIS. A challenge for sure. I've had world class commercial examples of two of the six. So for me it was all about describing, trying to get some flow/balance comments in there, one or two reminds me of comments,  a style comment here and there, and each one got at least one or two suggestions. 

I don't know for sure if I was right, but the Schwartz seemed too ale-like to me. More of a robust porter than Schwartz. The Helles seemed like a hazy light struck cream ale. The blond was awesome obviously, but I dinged it slightly for having strong esters that made it too spicy. (I guess the proctors called it out of style for adding spices) The APA was great but could use a bit more complexity. The Weizenbock had some fusel alcohol. The RIS was tasty but starting to show its age, I got some soy in the finish. It took me the full time allowed for each beer, but I did complete all of them.

Now for the 3 month pins and needles waiting to see how I did. Frankly, I wont be surprised by anything. Maybe I failed, maybe I did well. I know it wasn't a Master level though. Couldnt have been.

Offline denny

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2014, 04:12:25 PM »
Good luck, man.  They asked me to come over to proctor that one, but I had a previous commitment.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2014, 04:22:04 PM »
Ya I heard. Its ok I had to ditch right after anyway.

Offline santoch

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 05:25:47 PM »
Good Luck!

James asked me to proctor it, too, but I have been out of town and got back last night.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 07:45:55 PM »
Thanks!

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2014, 12:30:06 AM »
Sounds like you did well Jim, good luck on the scores.
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Offline Herminator

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2014, 02:42:54 AM »
Great job, man!  I'm sure you did great.  I am nervous as I am taking my tasting exam this weekend.  Cheers!
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Offline epic1856

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2014, 03:16:08 PM »
Congrats, but I think the wait is more like 4 months instead of 3. Just trying to set expectations now so you don't freak out when they don't arrive in 3 months. I took the exam in February and 4 months was how long it took.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2014, 03:16:36 PM »
I think "great job" is a bit preemy, but I appreciate it and hope you're right. Good luck on yours. My best advise is relax, write what you sense, and keep on writing.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2014, 03:18:56 PM »
Congrats, but I think the wait is more like 4 months instead of 3. Just trying to set expectations now so you don't freak out when they don't arrive in 3 months. I took the exam in February and 4 months was how long it took.

Ya, I'm curious obviously,  but I won't freak out. I'm used to waiting... I'll be happy with getting results by 1st round NHC.

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2014, 03:44:06 PM »
Now for the 3 month pins and needles waiting to see how I did. Frankly, I wont be surprised by anything. Maybe I failed, maybe I did well. I know it wasn't a Master level though. Couldnt have been.

You definitely did not fail.  Trust me, scoring accuracy is nowhere near as important as filling in the white space.  If you described the beers well in clear, concise language, you passed.   I am willing to bet that your score will be at least in the high seventies, if not low eighties.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2014, 03:49:33 PM »
Now for the 3 month pins and needles waiting to see how I did. Frankly, I wont be surprised by anything. Maybe I failed, maybe I did well. I know it wasn't a Master level though. Couldnt have been.

You definitely did not fail.  Trust me, scoring accuracy is nowhere near as important as filling in the white space.  If you described the beers well in clear, concise language, you passed.   I am willing to bet that your score will be at least in the high seventies, if not low eighties.

Thanks for the encouragement. I imagine I passed, but I'm one who is never sure till I'm sure. I wrote what i thought, im just not convinced it was right. Like I said, time will tell.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2014, 06:20:32 PM »
I am signed up for a class that will meet through the winter for a spring tasting exam...gotta start studying then take the written exam somewhere along the way.  I hope to steward some events in the meantime to see what goes on in the judging process.  I am sure you did well, as it sounds like you prepared pretty well and your comments here seem knowledgable.  I just hope that my palate is sensitive enough for the training to get me to a level that I can contribute to the program in a constructive, meaningful and informative way and not "run off" brewers who submit their hard hobby work to the evaluation process.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2014, 09:35:39 PM »
Knowledge and palate is important. So is experience! Nothing can beat tasting next to a great judge and lots and lots of filling out score sheets. As I recall little details, I fear I will be very lucky to pull off a certified score. It ain't easy, thats for certain

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Re: My tasting exam
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2014, 04:58:18 AM »
Knowledge and palate is important. So is experience! Nothing can beat tasting next to a great judge and lots and lots of filling out score sheets.

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