The checklist scoresheet doesn't allow for a lot of comments, local competitions are better for lots of feedback
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Indeed. The checklist is not very verbose, however, I like the checklist. Most good judges will write in something if the checklist does not adequately list what they are tasting... but I think the check boxes give just as much of an indication of what the taster was experiencing as the hand written paragraph. I also like that it creates a more consistent feedback method... making sure all the same aspects of the beer are analyzed every time.
I think the only thing that is missing in some cases, (in the check sheet) is a good means of communicating how a beer misses the style. (I am thinking specifically about sour beers styles and other non-mainstream styles. I had a couple sour beers that were good (very drinkable was the comment)... but missed the mark on style a bit, and (fortunately) the judges were kind enough to put three or four words in to state how it missed. That is perfect for figuring out how to brew the next one!