At the BJCP members meeting in Baltimore it was indicated by a large percentages of judges present that they had at least some discomfort with judging cider. That’s natural, and the cider exam committee is working on that. In the interest of helping alleviate that discomfort, we’re going to start periodically talking about understanding and judging cider and perry.
I’m going to start with Specialty Cider because in general the characters are stronger, with less need for understanding of subtlety or the need to search out hard-to-find or over-aged French ciders or Traditional Perries for judge practice and palate training. Later, if there’s interest, I’ll talk about Cider Characteristics, as well as Judging Standard Cider and Perry, Common Flaws, and Understanding Malolactic
In the meantime judges who want to know more about cider are reminded to read the Introduction section of our 2015 BJCP Cider Guidelines before they judge, and are encouraged to visit their local orchards this summer/fall, try new and different apples when possible, and to do some cider reading. Ben Watson’s “Cider Hard & Sweet”, Claude Jolicoeur’s “The New Cidermaker’s Handbook” and Andrew Lea’s “Craft Cider Making” are a great place to start.
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