Thursday, March 4, 2010

February mini-comp results

Last Thursday's BABBs meeting included the first mini-competition of the year. The selected styles for the competition were Australian Pale Ale and English Bitters. At the mini-competitions, you can enter up to two beers, but only one can count towards points that are accumulated over the year, and the other is just for feedback. To make things more interesting, you have to choose which is which at the time of entering.

I did a tasting of my three contenders a couple of days before and I decided to enter my Coopers Sparkling Ale clone as my "points" entry, and my English Best Bitter for feedback. The Australian Pale Ale that missed out was starting to show some signs of aging, and wasn't tasting nearly as good as the other two beers. Once that was decided, it was also easy for me to choose the Sparkling Ale clone as the better beer, as the Best Bitter had an unexpected slightly dirty/ashy flavour to it. I'm still not sure where that came from, but am happy to say that it is starting to fade away now.

In the end it didn't matter, as both of my beers scored 36/50. The winning beer of the night scored 39, but there were at least four others that scored higher, as I wasn't mentioned in the top 5. Out of 31 entries in total though, I am still happy with the two results.

I've transcribed the scoresheets below. Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of feedback on the Best Bitter - I was mainly hoping that someone might have an insight as to where the unexpected flavour was coming from. As for the Sparkling Ale, it turns out that it was judged by our table, so I inadvertently received even more feedback than we recorded on the scoresheet. It was the last beer we judged though, and after the four other beers (three ordinary bitters and another Australian pale ale), I didn't recognise it from the flavour! The lack of carbonation that we marked it down for was possibly from the way I filled the bottles. I'll make sure that it's slightly over carbonated next time I fill it from the keg.

#31 CSA Category 3A (Australian Pale Ale)
Aroma: 10/12
Good fruit & ester
Bready aroma coming through
Slight solvent aroma?
Apple aroma coming through

Appearance: 2/3
Carbonation a bit low

Flavour: 14/20
Bitterness is too strong for malt

Mouthfeel: 3/5
Lacking carbonation
Not finishing dry enough

Overall Impression: 7/10

Good drinking beer
Needs more carbonation

#32 EBB Category 3C (English Best Bitter)

Aroma: 9/12
Fruity and malty aroma

Appearance: 2/3
Some cloudiness

Flavour: 15/20

Mouthfeel: 3/5

Overall Impression: 7/10
Typical of style

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