The war is officially over and while my entries may have fought the good battle, no awards were brought home. I did receive some great, unbiased feedback from judges on all levels. To my surprise, the beers I submitted were scored by not only a professional brewer but a Grand Master too! These scoresheets alone made the entry fee well worth it. The overwhelming response to both beers was that they were too young. Here’s the recap with my own tasting notes:
Lucky 7’s IPA
Score: 32.5 out of 50
What the judges said: This beer received very good scores for both aroma and taste, which is promising. Adjectives like “piney, resiny, and juicy fruit” were used. The appearance and mouthfeel were not so favorable. Comments like “Carbonation non-existent, kind of kills the beer,” and “Really disappointed…because if it had carbonation I really feel it would have been wonderful. It has so much going for it.” I can’t argue with them considering this picture was taken the same day of the judging:
My thoughts: After Lucky 7’s had another week to mature, it’s become very enjoyable. The head has some real nice lacing and good retention. I picked up the same piney and resiny characteristics the judges noted. The taste has a fair share of bitterness up front and finishes with fruity citrus notes. I think the mouthfeel is still lacking a bit because of a stickiness left in the back of the throat. Overall, I think a little more balance would tighten everything up. I’m still undecided whether to call it an IPA or IIPA. Here’s a pic from my tasting for comparison sake. You can see the difference a week makes… sorry judges!
Citritine Snap APA
Score: 24 out of 50
What the judges said: Just like the IPA, this beer suffered from a lack of head and body. Unfortunately it also missed the mark for taste too. Judges critiqued that the beer “didn’t come together as a balances whole product” and “too complex… cut back on spices.” It was also noted that the citrus dominated without enough malt to counter.
My thoughts: I can agree with the judges and say this beer missed the mark. Indecisiveness was the fatal flaw. I started with an idea and tried to build upon this during fermentation. Adding the clementines during primary and the spices at bottling are two additions I would adjust. That’s not to say I would completely give up on the spiced tea idea, but I think the spices would have been better during the boil. It’ll be interesting to see how this beer develops because even though it didn’t turn out as intended, I can already notice some of its characteristics changing slightly. The idea of a ginger snap beer has potential and with some tweaks to the recipe I hope it’ll shine.
Congratulations to all the winners in the War of the Worts! Click here for a complete list of all the winners.