A Beer Judge’s Diary: Balance?

By Ken Carman

 Oh, God: if I answer this wrong David Houseman might excommunicate me from the church of the holy beer judges: the BJCP. Would Mike Dixon prematurely desecrate my grave? Gordon Strong stop taking my obscene phone calls? (And he enjoyed them SO much.)
 But I must ask, “Is balance over rated?” Like when the winter slumber-er who hibernates is rudely awaken, don’t bite my digital head off yet… bear… with me.

Courtesy Wide Open Spaces
Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Balance?”

Beer Profile: 2017 Anchor Christmas Ale

Profiled by Ken Carman

I am so disappointed,and not just with this.Last Anchor I got was Foghorn and each and every bottle’s contents were phenol-laced: rubber hose. This quaff might be called phenolic too, but I actually think the balance may be off: ginger and/or clove in a fairly light old ale base that’snot all that “old.”

Not sure aging would help.

I believe it to be ginger and reminds me of ginger ale with a dark color. it could almost be food coloring as much as it contributes to taste. High side medium carbonation with a definite carbonic bite.

Deep tan pillow head, black as hell with some deep red highlights peeking through, this has alight aroma of spices.

We bought a magnum for Christmas and had so much it became somewhat annoying. We usedhalf of it for cooking. We have better quaffs we have brewed ourselves. A simplistic quaff for a season that cries out for fireplace sipping complexity.

3.84 on BA,

3.2

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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Beer Profile: Cigar City Cafe Con Leche

Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA

Black as hell amber head/lite brown pillow with a few big bubbles. The nose has a hint of coffee, some lactose sense and darker malts. The flavor is caramel mixed with dark chocolate. Hops not noticed except a slight bitter in the background. Coffee also dominants, but not out of balance. Medium body. Tad dry but some residual sweet too! Quite the dance, a well performed brew-based ballet. Low carbonation in the mouthfeel, but firm. This was rates very high everywhere I looked. Rate Beer had it at 100 twice!

4.4

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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A Beer Judge’s Diary: Music City Brew Off

No pictures this time, more just a review of the first competition we judged at, probably 1999. It’s been said and done before in this case. Let’s have a break. Next year back to more traditional coverage, maybe?

By Ken Carman

Millie and I started judging at Music City Brew Off. I think it was 99. I still have the 98 guidelines, somewhere. Since then we’ve judged all over the east coast, due in part to the fact we’re from upstate NY originally, and I spent close to 30 years on tour doing kid shows and educational activities.
I thought this year went well, with at least one problem that seems to be increasing: the unavailability of judges. The easy thing to do is blame other clubs for not helping out, but it goes both ways. Clarksville’s August competition had one MCB judge there: Millie, she who apparently has just enough masochism to her nature that she and I have been together since 74.
When will you ever learn, young lady? Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Music City Brew Off”