Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 National Homebrew Competition, 1st Round Results

The National Homebrew Competition was changed for the better this year.  Registering before hand and selecting any open competition site pushed me to Austin, TX.  I am happy to report all of my 3 entries made it to the Mini-Best of Show rounds and two advanced to Nationals in June. 

The beers I decided to send:

Silent Midnight, Braggot.   26B Final Score 37 (Advanced to Mini-BOS) 3rd Place

They Call me Porter, Robust Porter.   12B Final Score 36 (Advanced to the Mini-BOS) 3rd Place

Cucuy #3 (Aged on Caco Nibs) , Russian Imperial Stout.   13F Final Score 39 (Advanced to the Mini-BOS) 

Silent Midnight Braggot:  Scored a 37/50 Overall. Category #26B Braggot.  Mini-BOS Advancing to the 2nd round at NHC.

Judge #1, Professional Mead Maker/Certified Mead Judge 39/50

Bouquet/Aroma: 6/10 Estery.  Roast, chocolate, treacle, banana, blueberry coffee.  Not getting much honey - very soft neutral honey in backround.

Appearance: 6/6  Black.  Pretty, solid tan head, nice!

Flavor: 20/24  Honey sweetness balanced w/coffee and burnt toast.  Malty and slightly honey sweet mid pallet and a very toffe-like lingering finish.  Amazingly, blueberry shows up only at the very end.  Even then slightly vegetal.  Moderate bitterness.

Overall Impression: 7/10 A solid braggot and likely very dangerous given the alcohol is completely hidden.  I really like it.  The banana ester is out of place and its the only flaw.  Try a different yeast strain?  Could use a more assertive honey character.  Don't boil honey or heat.

Judge #2, Apprentice Judge 35/50

Bouquet/Aroma: 6/10 Fruit, caramel and slight honey

Appearance: 5/6  Very dark brown, OK head, sheeting legs

Flavor: 17/24  Chocolate, some roast, fruity (Could be yeast or fruit) slight honey

Overall Impression: 7/10 Nice work.  The darker malts get in the way of the honey flavors.  If you didn't add the honey at knockout you should next time. 

Chris's Notes:   This was a last minute addition beer.  I didn't like the results I received from my Sensation Mead (American Finest City 2014) So I made a last minute substitution.  This is a 25/75 blend with my Blackberry blended mead and the Porter below at bottling.   Personally I love this beer, it is so different than what I normally make.  I have the second round bottles and 2 more ready for a rainy day "Tasting Session".  Once I drink that I will write up a post on this mead.

They call me Porter:  Scored a 36/50 Overall. Category #12B Robust Porter.  Mini-BOS Advancing to the 2nd round at NHC.

Chris' Notes:  This beer has done well in 2 competitions over the last couple months.  I agree with the notes above, it really doesn't fit in the catagory.  However I don't know where else to place it.  This was the 1st time I brewed this recipe, down the line I would like to tweak it a little more and continue using it has a base for meads. Strangely enough, this is the base for the Braggot posted above. 

Cucuy:  Scored a 38/50 Overall. Category #13F Russian Imperial Stout.  Mini-BOS, not placing

Chris' Notes:  This fucking beer.  Always the bastard child.  This is the 2nd time this has advanced to the Mini-Best of Show only to get shut out in the finals.  It's a great beer, I understand that.  I think it's problem is the lower than normal alcohol level in this beer.  Maybe not, however I love it and I will continue to brew it annually for the winter. 


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!