Originally Posted by dinnerstick
i was wondering about bjcp judges and cider as i read this thread, do they really know about cider and what to look for? i don't mean that sarcastically, just wondering if they have a lot of experience with it. still seems really weird to me to group cider in with beer (even though they are currently side by side on my taps and getting along quite well)
Do they have BJCP in the Netherlands?
BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) covers beer, cider, and mead, but I think it's safe to assume that most of the judges have more experience with beer than cider and mead. I'm not sure if they implemented it yet, but the BJCP is working on a separate mead certification, which should help.
Judging is subjective, so it's not uncommon to get two conflicting scoresheets from the same entry. One might say "too much raspberry" and the other might say "not enough raspberry". It can be quite frustrating. Despite some inconsistencies, the judges I've seen take it seriously and try to do their best. Judges have worked in pairs in the comps I've been involved with. I believe they usually try to pair an experienced judge with a less experienced judge and it's common for the judges to discuss each entry. This should lessen inconsistencies and help improve the less experienced judge. Also, I believe the coordinators try to place judges in categories that they are familiar with.
I can't speak for other parts of the US or the world, but there are quite a few BJCP judges in my area and many of them are familiar with cider and mead (many are cider and mead makers themselves). Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that they will be the ones assigned to judge the cider and mead categories.
BTW - Their website has a lot of great info even if you don't compete. www.bjcp.org