After almost 3 years of fumbling around in the dark I figured it was time to enter a comp and get some unbiased feedback. I entered 3 beers into Austin and just got my scores in the mail yesterday:
- Altbier(7B) - 35.5; first time I brewed this one
- Marzen (6A) - 38; This is the one I really want to nail
- Baltic Porter(9C) - 40; I've brewed this one a couple of times and liked it; Got kicked in mini-BOS
I was very pleased with the results and feel like I received some good, actionable feedback on the Alt and the Baltic Porter.
On the Marzen, I'd like some help from the group to interpret the results and one aspect in particular that confused me. In short, it appears that both judges detected some banana in the aroma that was not noted in the flavor or anywhere else. It was marked under esters, but I'm not 100% sure if I was actually dinged for that or not. The guidelines on aroma state, "Moderate intensity aroma of German malt, typically rich, bready, somewhat toasty, with light bread crust notes." I see a lot of reviews of commercial Marzen stating "banana bread" as an aroma descriptor.
So, before sharing the recipe or anything else, I'm curious about your thoughts on the banana just from this feeedback? Is this where I should focus, or based on the details below do you feel I'm over-emphasizing this one bit of the feedback?
Here's the detailed breakdown of the scoresheets in case it's helpful:Judge1 - 39Aroma -
9/12; Malt - Bready, Hops - Floral; Esters - BananaAppearance -
3/3; Persistent ivory head on burnished copperFlavor -
15/20; Malt - Bready, Hops - Very slight Spicy (no esters/other/balance marked)Mouthfeel -
5/5; Crisp, dry finishOverall -
7/10; "Drink a pint"; Comment - Flavorful, easy drinking and very well-brewedJudge2 - 37Aroma -
7/12; Malt - Bready, Hops - Floral/Spicy; Esters - Banana/Fruity; Comment - Strong banana at first, going to spicinessAppearance -
3/3; Cream head on copper Flavor -
15/20; Malt - Bready, Hops - Spicy (no esters/other/balance marked); Even balanceMouthfeel -
4/5; Overall -
8/10; 4/5 on all intangibles; "Drink a pint"