I appreciate the you gave my beer a 36 but what I really want to know is where did I lose 14 points?
Sadly, that's the toughest sort of feedback to give. Any judge will do a decent job of detecting obvious faults, the better judges are good at picking up subtle problems and minor style faults. It's a rare judge that's both a good enough taster and a good enough brewer to give you ideas on how to make a good beer great.
If it makes you feel any better, your beer didn't "lose" 14 points. It probably lost more like 9 points. That's because most judges mentally reserve scores of 45-50 for hypothetical "perfect" beers. I've described these top level beers as:
41-45 - "Angels helped to brew this beer."
45-49 - "You hear angels singing when you drink this beer."
50 - "Choirs of angels sing, the clouds open, rays of heavenly light beam down, the hand of God points down and a booming celestial voice says, "I'LL HAVE THAT ONE!"
Whether it's fair or not, many judges don't want to get too far away from that magic 7 point range needed for consensus judging, so they hedge their bets a bit. On their own, a judge might say, "that's a 39-40 point beer", but they might not want to go out on a limb to defend their decision to the other judge, so they score the beer a little closer to the middle of the "Very Good" range at 36. If your beer was at the beginning of the flight, the judges might also want to be a bit cautious with their scoring to leave a bit more room at the top of the range for a better beer later in the flight.
Judges scores are also biased by other factors - rebound effect/halo effect from a particularly good/bad beer tasted just previously, upward/downward bias in scores over the course of the flight (possibly influenced by the fact that the beers later in the flight have more time to warm), judges' like/dislike of the style, judges' familiarity with the style and time of day (Really! Tasters go for maltier beers when they're hungry). I also think that season and temperature in the judging hall plays a big role.
Finally, while it's grossly unfair, I think that there's something of a bias against certain styles of beer. It's easier to detect all the qualities that make a great Barleywine, American IPA or Belgian Strong great because they're bigger, more emphatic, showier beers. By contrast, it's harder to detect greatness in more balanced, lightly-flavored "table beers" like Irish Red or Belgian Pale Ale.
My guess is that, at the level you're at, you've got no process or technique faults. You're using the right ingredients and tools and you know your equipment well. What you need is more experience with subtle tweaks and recipe formulations. In those respects, you're probably ahead of me in brewing skill.
When I judge a beer at the upper end of "very good" range (35-39 score), I'm saying it's comparable to most commercial craft beer. What I'd want at that level to make it even better is:
1) Big complex aroma - if appropriate for the style. Even for styles where big aroma is a fault, I still want something interesting going on there. It should be complex, interesting and inviting.
2) Aroma carries into flavor. Basically, the aroma is the promise of what you get when you taste the beer. It sucks when your expectations are let down by flavor which doesn't match the aroma to some degree.
3) A flavor profile that "peaks". All foods have flavor profile with a beginning, a middle, a finish and an aftertaste. A really great food has a profile where the beginning quickly "bursts" into a massive, complex unified middle, then fades away pleasantly in the finish and aftertaste. I think of it as being like a firework - shell goes up, BOOM! lots of light and sound, sparks and squiggles of light shower down.
If I could create recipes that do this on a regular basis, I'd be brewing beer by the hectoliter and getting paid for it, so I'm not the guy to ask how to do it. All I can say is that it takes a LOT of recipe tweaking. You're wanting your ingredients to stand out, but also to work together, and you're wanting the flavors from all those ingredients to all peak at once.
4) Drinkability. Is this a beer I could drink all night, or would I choose something else? Are there little, subtle problems that turn me off? A bit stale? A bit solventy? A bit to harsh in the finish? Again, more recipe tweaking and lots of frustrating equipment and process tweaks.