competition categorization question

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pabrimmer

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Hi, all,

I'm entering my first competition, the beer is an oatmeal milk stout that I've brewed 21 times since Jan 2018. There's a bit of variation from batch to batch, but the one I'm submitting came out like so:

OG 1.073
FG 1.024
IBU's 22
ABV 6.43%

I thought I should enter it in category 16A Sweet Stout, since it has lactose, but the ABV is a little high for that category, which has a range of 4-6%. It's high for the Oatmeal Stout category too. I'd enter it as category 20B American Stout, but the IBU's are low because the range is 35-75.

So, which direction would you go, enter a category with the ABV a bit too high, or enter one with the IBU's a bit too low?

Or if there's another possibility or category I haven't considered, toss that in the mix too, please!
 

Amadeo38

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Judges aren’t going to be able to distinguish a 6.5% Beer from a 6.0% one, but IBU’s are something people can judge fairly well. Hell, most can’t tell the difference of a couple ABV points if the alcohol isn’t strong in flavor or aroma. So, I’d say Sweet Stout is your best bet.
 
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pabrimmer

pabrimmer

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Thanks for the advice! This makes a lot of sense, sweet stout it is :)
 

Amadeo38

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No problem. Have you had someone with judging expertise taste it with the intention of deciding into which category it should be entered? I’ve found that to be the best way to enter beers into the proper category.
 

Pappers_

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Go with what you're tasting. If the mouthfeel and sweetness is close to what the high final gravity would lead you to assume, then it wouldn't do well as either an Oatmeal or American Stout, most likely.
 
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