BJCP Question 33B only or 33B & 17D

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by InVinoVeritas, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (413) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    Brewed an English Barleywine about six months ago - I'll bottle in about 3 or 4 months. Tasted it last night and I can say this, it's already an amazing beer. I'm sure I'll be enter it into competition. In a 5 gallon batch I've got 1.25 oz oak cubes and 6 oz bourbon. I hate entering it into a wide open class like 33B, which I'll still do being the most fitting. With very soft bourbon notes, is it foolish to also enter into 17D?
     
  2. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Initiate (194) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I haven't tasted it. You say "very soft". Could that mean "nearly non-existent"? Then enter in 17D. Otherwise if you can notice the bourbon or oak, you really can't do anything but 33B.
     
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  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,732) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    It sounds like a set-up for a scenario that I was fell into with a smoke beer entry. My personal preference on how smoky the beer should be was not in line with judges. If I tried to sell the beer to judges as a straight example of the style, the smoke would stand out like a sore thumb. But when I tried to sell it as a smoke beer, they wanted more smoke. I think there are certain flavors like smoke, wood, and bourbon that I most enjoy in subtle doses that don't fair well in competition.
     
  4. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Initiate (194) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    A good judge won't care if the wood, bourbon, or smoke character is subtle. Unfortunately, there are not very many good judges out there.
     
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  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,732) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    I suspect even the best judges struggle with styles that have strong flavors, due to palate fatigue. Finding the nuance in the 8th wood-aged bourbon barrel stout of the tasting session would challenge me, for sure, but I am not a good judge.
     
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  6. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Initiate (194) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    You're right (at least about the first part). Cheers.
     
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