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How do BJCP judges evaluate beer?

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MattyHBT

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If you are a judge how do you evaluate beer? sip it like wine or take a nice good quaff?
 

Qhrumphf

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1. Pour
2. Aroma
3. Flavor
4. Appearance
5. Aroma
6. Flavor
7. Mouthfeel
8. Aroma and flavor again.
9. Overall impression.

Really it all gets done simultaneously, but the important part is to immediately after pouring to capture flavor and aroma volatiles first before they dissipate, and then continue evaluating as the sample sits out.

Within that, there's a lot of techniques to pick up everything. Short sniffs. Long sniffs. Tilt the cup and sniff near the surface. Then at the top further away. Cover the cup and swirl, uncover, smell again.

Look with a flashlight in dark beers.

Little sips. Aerate it in your mouth (slurp it basically). Swirl it around coating everything. A big one is exhaling through your nose during and immediately after swallowing. Letting it sit on the palate varying amounts of time.

And so on and so forth.
 

Brownalemikie

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1. Pour
2. Aroma
3. Flavor
4. Appearance
5. Aroma
6. Flavor
7. Mouthfeel
8. Aroma and flavor again.
9. Overall impression.

Really it all gets done simultaneously, but the important part is to immediately after pouring to capture flavor and aroma volatiles first before they dissipate, and then continue evaluating as the sample sits out.

Within that, there's a lot of techniques to pick up everything. Short sniffs. Long sniffs. Tilt the cup and sniff near the surface. Then at the top further away. Cover the cup and swirl, uncover, smell again.

Look with a flashlight in dark beers.

Little sips. Aerate it in your mouth (slurp it basically). Swirl it around coating everything. A big one is exhaling through your nose during and immediately after swallowing. Letting it sit on the palate varying amounts of time.

And so on and so forth.
So head retention and glass "lacing" play no part of judging the beer?
 

AMessenger

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Do judges typically take any action to cleanse their palate between beers? Is there some standard operating procedure for this that judges are expected to follow?
 

k1ngl1ves

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They take an educated guess. That's it. No mystery there. :ban:


Everyone's taste and observation is a bit different. Their input can be a good reference for your beer though. The more people that taste and offer opinions the better. But overall, the competitions are just dog & pony shows.
 

Yooper

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So head retention and glass "lacing" play no part of judging the beer?
Yes, but "appearance" is three points total so even if the head dissipates instantly, it's noted on the score sheet but that will only lose 1 point, if that's out of style. Some styles have heads that persist, but some are expected to lose head fairly quickly (cream ale) so that wouldn't even lose a point there. Clarity is also part of that category.

Do judges typically take any action to cleanse their palate between beers? Is there some standard operating procedure for this that judges are expected to follow?
We calibrate with a commercial beer, usually. Then we have bland crackers and water between samples. We also organize the flight to go from expected "less flavor" to bigger flavored beers. For example, if we are judging dark British beers, we'd put the milds first and then proceed to the bolder flavors like browns and porters last. It really depends on how many entries there are. In my last comp (Indiana State Fair), I judged all IPAs in one flight so they were just listed randomly, expected to all be "equal" in the palate wrecking department. :D
 

Qhrumphf

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So head retention and glass "lacing" play no part of judging the beer?
List was (hopefully obviously) not all inclusive. Yes head retention and lacing are a part. As are legs when applicable.

Amd calibration beers are unusual around here. One group does them in the comps they organize, but most don't. I don't find them particularly useful.

And yes, water and crackers to keep the palate fresh. And proper ordering of the flight.
 

Brownalemikie

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List was (hopefully obviously) not all inclusive. Yes head retention and lacing are a part. As are legs when applicable.

Amd calibration beers are unusual around here. One group does them in the comps they organize, but most don't. I don't find them particularly useful.

And yes, water and crackers to keep the palate fresh. And proper ordering of the flight.
Lastly and most importantly......who drives you home after judging a comp? :D
 
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