I did not perceive the diacetyl until it was pointed out to me. Initially, that flavor character was thought to be extra "maltiness" from the 33% Munich malt.
After hearing the term "buttered popcorn", that taste was etched into my brain, and would not go away.
My friend, home brewer and multiple award winner, plus former employee of a craft brewery in Austin, Texas, picked the flavor out immediately.
I appreciate his honesty...and my beer is better because of his input.
Yes, we were fully prepared to dump it...maybe in the garden.
The beer is better now, in my small and very subjective taste tests. But Dave will come over in a day or two for a blind sampling of several beers. Anxious to see if he can pick this one out.
edit: I have tasted what was thought to be diacetyl in years past, but this was not it. Buttered Popcorn is the best description.
Dave did not say the beer was "bad", only that it was flawed, and not to enter it in competition. But to me, flawed = bad.