Originally Posted by thataintchicken
In the past I have done 12oz bottles for competition.
Is this the best bottle or is there a better way?
Thanks in advance
I guess it would depend upon the competition. If you're entering in a mead category in a brewing competition, I don't think there's a problem with 12 oz crown caps since those bottles predominate the overall competition. If, however, you enter in a wine or mead only competition, then I'd suggest corked 375s.
As was suggested earlier, it's what's inside the bottle that counts but, in a competition, subtle differences such as bottle and premium cork selection might mean the difference between winning and not winning. This first impression, even before the taste, tells the judge that if you care so much about presentation then your mead may well have received just as much thought and work.
I've done a little judging and stewarding (and have entered a few competitons) and I know first impression count. For good or bad, when I open a bottle and see a bad cork, dirty bottle or a sloppy label then I automatically expect less from the contents. The same goes for the appearance prior to the first sip. Cloudy mead or wine or "floaties" lower expectations even further.
Now we're just discussing competitions. If I bottle for my own consumption, and maybe some to share or give away, I'm not nearly as fussy. I prefer corked bottles, but I also use swing tops and even 12 oz crown caps to taste as the mead matures and I never filter mead or wine for person consumption.