Author Topic: How best to describe 22C?  (Read 1856 times)

Offline rjharper

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How best to describe 22C?
« on: February 26, 2015, 02:52:32 AM »
Beer judges,

I have a 22C entry for a competition coming up, so I have to describe it. Reading the style guidelines, I need only identify the base beer category? Similarly, I should only describe the wood variety if its noticeable? I'm torn between how I would typically describe it to friends (lots of detail) versus judging requirements.  If I say Porter instead of Baltic Porter, does that give me more leeway on style or mark me down if its clearly a Baltic and I havent called it so. Similarly, do I say Spiced Rum Oak or Wood?

Per 2008 BJCP 22C
Quote
IF THIS BEER IS BASED ON A CLASSIC STYLE (E.G., ROBUST PORTER) THEN THE SPECIFIC STYLE MUST BE SPECIFIED. CLASSIC STYLES DO NOT HAVE TO BE CITED (E.G., “PORTER” OR “BROWN ALE” IS ACCEPTABLE). THE TYPE OF WOOD MUST BE SPECIFIED IF A “VARIETAL” CHARACTER IS NOTICEABLE.

So do I go with:
- Porter
- Porter on Oak
- Porter on Spiced Rum infused Oak
- Baltic Porter
- Baltic Porter on Oak
- Baltic Porter on Spiced Rum infused Oak

I assume if its clearly a Baltic Porter, and there's noticeable oak, then I need to describe it as such or risk getting marked down? In my last competition I used the last option, but I'm wondering if I should be a little more vague? Scoresheets aren't back yet so I can't read the comments, but it took a 43 with the full description, so I'm leaning towards that route again.

Thanks in advance!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 03:39:25 AM »
You answered your own question. I wouldn't game it. Have confidence and go for it.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 03:42:09 AM »
if it took 43 I'd do that again. that is phenomenal. I scored a Weihenstephaner dunkleweisen a 41 in my tasting exam and it agreed with the proctors.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 12:26:18 PM »
Sometimes it's better to be vague, but if you clearly have a excellent base style, then it is better to be more specific.  I think the judges would take away points if you declared Baltic Porter and they didn't find the "Baltic" in it, but it seems that you have nailed that part if it scored 43. 
There's a big difference in taste between oak and spiced rum infused oak.  If it has any rum evident, then you'd be smart to re-enter it with that annotation.
I'd be really happy with that score, especially if highly ranked judges scored it.  I rarely ever go over a 43 when judging.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2015, 01:22:40 PM »


Sometimes it's better to be vague, but if you clearly have a excellent base style, then it is better to be more specific.

Agreed. Without having tasted your beer, it sounds like you have a great description.

What really is unneeded in a special category are things like "50% 2-row, 12% Munich, 4% Chocolate, 6% C60, 20% Pils, and 8% I just wanna confuse you, English hops, US-05 yeast." or... "In my opinion, all Christmas beers are too heavily spiced. This is a LIGHTLY spiced Christmas ale with allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, mace, white peppercorns, ginger, juniper berries, and Sichuan peppercorns."

Hahaha... Sometimes the descriptions crack me up. :)
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2015, 01:50:14 PM »


Sometimes it's better to be vague, but if you clearly have a excellent base style, then it is better to be more specific.

Agreed. Without having tasted your beer, it sounds like you have a great description.

What really is unneeded in a special category are things like "50% 2-row, 12% Munich, 4% Chocolate, 6% C60, 20% Pils, and 8% I just wanna confuse you, English hops, US-05 yeast." or... "In my opinion, all Christmas beers are too heavily spiced. This is a LIGHTLY spiced Christmas ale with allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, mace, white peppercorns, ginger, juniper berries, and Sichuan peppercorns."

Hahaha... Sometimes the descriptions crack me up. :)
Ah, I get it. You left out the Chipotle. That's what makes it light spiced.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2015, 01:58:59 PM »
or... "In my opinion, all Christmas beers are too heavily spiced. This is a LIGHTLY spiced Christmas ale with allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, mace, white peppercorns, ginger, juniper berries, and Sichuan peppercorns."

Hahaha... Sometimes the descriptions crack me up. :)

That's pretty funny !
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 02:06:24 PM »
Yes, vague is better. It provides less rope for the judges to hang you with when they didn't pick up enough Sichuan peppercorns.

I've only had one of my beers score a 42 and it is quite rare that I give a score any higher in competition. I guess we judges have a hard time defining what perfection is and therefore scoring any beer at 50. So functionally, a score in the mid 40's MAY essentially be perfect.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2015, 02:09:53 PM »
Its important, I think, to describe based on what someone perceives in the glass without a recipe in front of them, rather than describing based on recipe. For example, the 2014 NHC gold medal Flanders was actually a kriek lambic if you look at the recipe. But obviously, based on how it did in the glass in front of judges with no recipe, it was perceived as a great Flanders. So if I entered in 22c I would write my description off what the beer is not what the recipe was.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2015, 03:07:57 PM »
Its important, I think, to describe based on what someone perceives in the glass without a recipe in front of them, rather than describing based on recipe. For example, the 2014 NHC gold medal Flanders was actually a kriek lambic if you look at the recipe. But obviously, based on how it did in the glass in front of judges with no recipe, it was perceived as a great Flanders. So if I entered in 22c I would write my description off what the beer is not what the recipe was.
Good answer.
 
I'd say - say Baltic porter if you're certain it tastes like a good Baltic porter. Mention oak if oak is noticeable. Mention rum if rum is noticeable.
 
Wood-aged porter is a hedged bet, though some judges may be frustrated that it is too vague.
 
I wish entry software/sheets were more clear about specifying base style - like having a separate text box for it. Too many entries just specify specialty ingredients with no base style at all. It's just BEER!
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2015, 03:53:22 PM »
If a description bought you a 43 then you should keep running with that description.
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Offline rjharper

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2015, 04:37:13 PM »


Sometimes it's better to be vague, but if you clearly have a excellent base style, then it is better to be more specific.

Agreed. Without having tasted your beer, it sounds like you have a great description.

What really is unneeded in a special category are things like "50% 2-row, 12% Munich, 4% Chocolate, 6% C60, 20% Pils, and 8% I just wanna confuse you, English hops, US-05 yeast." or... "In my opinion, all Christmas beers are too heavily spiced. This is a LIGHTLY spiced Christmas ale with allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, mace, white peppercorns, ginger, juniper berries, and Sichuan peppercorns."

Hahaha... Sometimes the descriptions crack me up. :)
Ah, I get it. You left out the Chipotle. That's what makes it light spiced.

I've never considered dry-burrito-ing before...  :o

Thanks everyone for confirming my gut feeling. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Offline kramerog

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2015, 08:37:43 PM »
Baltic Porter on Rum infused Oak seems like a possibility.  Does the spice in spiced rum come through?

Offline tesgüino

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2015, 05:34:17 PM »
If a description bought you a 43 then you should keep running with that description.
True, but be sure to take into account the ranking of the judges that scored your beer.

Offline santoch

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Re: How best to describe 22C?
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2015, 03:58:04 AM »
Jimmy K nailed, IMO.

A Brown Porter is different from a Robust Porter is different from a Baltic Porter.  Simply saying "Porter" usually gets me a bit frustrated as its too vague. I am not sure up front where to put the beer in the flight. "Chocolate Cherry Stout" -- same thing.  RIS? Sweet? Irish Dry? American? Oatmeal? Foreign Export? Tropical Foreign Export?

Bottom line, try to be as specific as you can be, as long as that describes what you actually brewed (not what you tried to brew).

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