It scored very well – much better than I imagined it would – pulling a 39.5 out of 50, with a Recognized BJCP judge giving it a 39 and a non-BJCP judge giving it a 40. If you’ll recall from my first tasting of this beer, while I was pleased with it overall, I was a bit upset about the lack of hop aroma and the hop flavor was lower than I wanted. I felt the aroma and flavor were outmatched by the bitterness, making for a somewhat unbalanced beer. Also, the beer was quite cloudy then. Well, the beer has cleared up nicely and while the hop aroma and flavor are still the same, overall the beer is a good example of an American IPA. It just isn’t the kind of IPA I get excited about – the moderate IBU ones with lots of citrusey hop aroma and flavor. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is a good example of my kind of IPA.
On to the judges notes…
Judge 1 (BJCP Recognized): none checked
Judge 2: Estery
Judge 1: Medium esters, noticeable hop aroma. 9/12
Judge 2: Light fruity aroma. Not very strong. 9/12
Judge 1: Copper-like, clear, good head retention 3/3
Judge 2: Coppery color. Nice bone head. 3/3
Judge 1: Moderately bitter, with strong hop flavor and low malt flavor. Noticeable dry aftertaste, hint of clove. Low malt flavor. 15/20
Judge 2: Front end hop followed by lightly sweet malt. 16/20
Judge 1: Medium-light body with mild carbonation and noticeable alcoholic warmth. 4/5
Judge 2: Medium body. Perfect carbonation. Slight warmth. 4/5
Judge 1: Well balanced flavor that might have been slightly overhopped. Good representative of the style. 8/10
Judge 2: Very tasty & well balanced. 8/10
Judge 1: 39/50
Judge 2: 40/50
Judge 1: Classic Example  [x]    Not to Style
Judge 2: Classic Example  [x]    Not to Style
Judge 1: Flawless  [x]    Significant Flaws
Judge 2: Flawless  [x]    Significant Flaws
Judge 1: Wonderful  [x]    Lifeless
Judge 2: Wonderful  [x]    Lifeless
I am happy with these notes for a couple of reasons. First, it tells me that I’m brewing decent beer. Second, it tells me that I’m judging my own beer fairly and accurately, because these notes jibe with my impression of the beer.
I think I have a recipe here that I can tweak slightly and come up with a fantastic IPA. Here is what I will change when I re-brew it, which hopefully will be sometime soon:
- Temperature control. I had none when I brewed this. Now I have the keezer chamber.
- Hop aroma: I will probably skip the first-wort hops and hop tea (maybe) and will dry-hop next time. This beer had no dry-hopping.
- Color: I might back off on the crystal a bit to lighten the color up some. This one was copper, pushing towards amber. I might go for more of a deep gold next time. If I ease up on the crystal, I need to account for the drop in residual sweetness that crystal provides. I could tweak the mash temperature to account for it.
- Lower the IBUs. I was aiming for 50 or so, but I used the wrong formula and ended up closer to 70.