T.R.A.S.H XXI Competition Results – American Amber

April 10, 2011

I entered the American Amber, American IPA, and Breakfast Stout into the T.R.A.S.H. competition this year. The judging was yesterday at the Sharp Edge Brasserie and today the club held a banquet at Rock Bottom Brewery.

I’ve never entered a competition before. I entered this one not to try to win anything, but rather to get the detailed judges notes to help me learn how to make better beer. However, I ended up winning the American Amber and American Brown flight! In addition to my beer, there were nine other ambers and ten brown ales.

While I’m excited and proud about winning, I’m still most excited about the notes I got. The Amber scored a 40 out of 50, with a Master BJCP judge giving it a 41 and non-BJCP judge giving it a 39. The notes:

Descriptors
Judge 1 (BJCP Master): Estery
Judge 2: Estery

Aroma
Judge 1: Clean caramel and ester aroma. Low hop, no diacetyl or phenol or fusel alcohols – good. Moderate esters are to style. 10/12
Judge 2: Nice caremel sweetness w/ citrus hop character. Hops become more dominant as beer warms. Very appropriate & balanced. 10/12

Appearance
Judge 1: Amber, very clear, off-white head holds up well. 3/3
Judge 2: Amber, slight haze. Persistent off-white head. 2/3

Flavor
Judge 1: Malty caramel but not overly sweet. Lingering malt and hop complement each other. Low hop flavor is OK for style. 4/5
Judge 2:Caramel maltiness. Not very much initial malt sweetness. Gives way to a nutty / toasty flavor at end. Hops make for a nice finish without a lingering sweetness. Nicely balanced. 4/5

Mouthfeel
Judge 1: Medium body. Medium Carbonation. Touch of creaminess and no astringency. Alcohol seems apparent but clean – no harsh fusels. 4/5
Judge 2: Medium body & carbonation. No astringency. 4/5

Overall Impression
Judge 1: Very nice example of a common style that often is not brewed this well. All I can say to improve is to get a touch of delicate hop aroma up front. 8/10
Judge 2: Very drinkable, well brewed beer. The hops & crystal malts balance very nicely. 8/10

Final Score
Judge 1: 41/50
Judge 2: 39/50

Sylistic Accuracy
Judge 1: Classic Example [x] [] [] [] [] Not to Style
Judge 2: Classic Example [] [x] [] [] [] Not to Style

Technical Merit
Judge 1: Flawless [x] [] [] [] [] Significant Flaws
Judge 2: Flawless [] [x] [] [] [] Significant Flaws

Intangibles
Judge 1: Wonderful [] [x] [] [] [] Lifeless
Judge 2: Wonderful [x] [] [] [] [] Lifeless

I’m very happy to have these notes. My IPA scored nearly as well, though it didn’t place. The Breakfast Stout didn’t fare so well. I will share how they did and the notes I received on them in future posts.

Thanks to Jamil & Palmer for the recipe! (It came from Brewing Classic Styles.)

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