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View Full Version : My take on the Mazer Cup 2011



AToE
04-04-2011, 08:30 PM
I want to try to explain just how awesome this event was. I flew quite a ways to get to this, and frankly (even with airmiles) it wasn't cheap (compared to those who came in from Europe though I've got nothing to complain about!). It vastly exceeded my expectations and I had what I thought were unrealistically high expectations to begin with. Aaron was a great roommate, and everyone who I managed to identify as Gotmead members were very nice people.

Up until this event I had tasted maybe 5 or 6 meads that weren't my own, by the end of it I probably had tasted in excess of 100 meads (proudly managing not to get too intoxicated in the process!).

Having the chance to listen to judges evaluate meads( and there was roughly 15 times as many judges as I'd expected), especially while I was a table steward and tasting along, seriously must have increased my ability to discern distinct flavours and aromas in meads ten-fold. Before I had perhaps 0.1% the skill of those fine folks, now I can proudly say I estimate myself closer to 1% of their abilities!

Everyone who did not enter meads this year, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to enter some next year. The judges are very serious about being honest, but are also extremely kind in their responses, when they say their goal is to encourage people and help them improve they MEAN IT! Even seriously flawed meads I saw only constructive criticism being written down.

If you've considered attending to volunteer, consider it even more in the future! It is as amazing an experience as it could possibly be in my opinion.

Everyone who is not a patron of this website, I don't often say this, but if you can afford it you should do it. This website and that competition in my humble opinion represent the future of meadmaking, and it is impossible to overstate how important it is to keep both going into the future.

Special thanks to Vicky (who was wonderful), Oskaar (also great), Wayne (how much of your time it must take to handle those entries boggles my mind), Dani (spelling?), the list goes on and on with names of people who put in so much work running that competition and this website that I cannot commend them enough. For any who are unaware, the Cup and this site are SERIOUS hard work for a lot of these people, and they do it with not nearly enough thanks. I would be a poor meadmaker if not for these folks!

For everyone who did enter, I would encourage you to post the results of your score sheets in your brewlogs so that others may learn from them (with the judges names removed of course for privacy's sake, and I would wait until after the winners are anounced). Now, only do this if you're comfortable though, don't let me pressure you into it if you are not!Regardless of how well you did, it is valuable information for yourself and others, last year I saw far too few people sharing this great information. I will be posting mine, and I can tell you right now it wasn't all slaps on the back and praise that I received!

So anyways, that's pretty long winded of me. Once again, a from the heart thank you to everyone who put such staggering amounts of work into making such a wonderful event, and wonderful website.

Oskaar
04-04-2011, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the great feedback Alan!

We try really hard to encourage people to improve their meadmaking process and to be positive and helpful on the scoresheets. It was great meeting you and all the other GotMeaders out there who came and helped us with the competition. We hope you had a good enough time to make you want to return.

Best Regards,

Oskaar

AToE
04-04-2011, 10:51 PM
Oh I'll be back for sure, I'd like to be as much of a contributer to the mead community in years to come as I can. :)

wildoates
04-05-2011, 01:04 AM
I'm going to my bed with a smile on my face--my daughter and I were brewing all weekend, but I was thinking of y'all in Colorado and wishing I was there. Someday I've got to go!

Thanks for the roundup, Alan...and I hope someone posts more photos!

Fisher kel Tath
04-05-2011, 01:54 AM
I hope to be able to enter someday, but the problem remains most of my batches still are 1 gallon batches.

akueck
04-05-2011, 02:02 AM
Now is the perfect time to make a big batch, you've got about a year to let it age.

wayneb
04-05-2011, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the roundup, Alan...and I hope someone posts more photos!

Check out the MCI Facebook page... you'll find LOTS of pics there, and on associated pages, from many folks who took the time to document our experience this year!

Medsen Fey
04-05-2011, 11:19 AM
How about some summary of cool meads from you folks who were there.

Clearly that chocolate one made and impact.

So what mead came from farthest away?
Which one was made with the most exotic fruit or spice?
What was the weirdest weirdomel?
Which mead had the prettiest color?
Who got the "tipsiest"

And most importantly, where are the details from the Winners Circle pairing event?

wayneb
04-05-2011, 11:35 AM
Two home entries came from Poland - our farthest traveled. Unfortunately only one made it in time for the judging; the other was delivered to my office only yesterday, although it was shipped back in February. PLEASE, to all other home meadmakers from other countries, take note! You need to ship your meads FAR in advance of the cutoff date for entries - liquid in bottles may be quarantined by customs for more than 30 days before it gets forwarded to us at the receiving site.

Of course, the one that made it, and won a mazer, comes from another Gotmeader, 'male' (Marek). We're working on getting his surname spelled properly in the list of winners on the MCI website, BTW!

Who got the most tipsy? Honestly I don't know. I don't remember much past the point when Glenn Exline brought out his bottles of scotch.... :drunken_smilie:

fatbloke
04-05-2011, 03:25 PM
Well I just looked at all the pic's at the MCI facebook page. It looked very much, like everyone had a marvellous time.

I doubt very much if I'd ever enter anything, as I suspect I take too much of a casual approach to my mead making to produce anything noteworthy.

Though I do suspect it would be a truly enlightening experience to attend the event. To be able to mine a few nuggets of wisdom from some very knowledgeable people.......

Glad to read that a good time was had by all.

regards

fatbloke

akueck
04-05-2011, 10:51 PM
How about some summary of cool meads from you folks who were there.

Clearly that chocolate one made and impact.

So what mead came from farthest away?
Which one was made with the most exotic fruit or spice?
What was the weirdest weirdomel?
Which mead had the prettiest color?
Who got the "tipsiest"

And most importantly, where are the details from the Winners Circle pairing event?

I liked the "lime on the coconut" mead, it was billed as Indian curry but it was more garam masala with a hint of lime and some mouthfeel from the coconut. The masala spice was intense. Unfortunately the other judges weren't as keen on it as I was. I did need to brush my teeth and eat a banana to get the spice out of my mouth though. ;D

I also really enjoyed a mel (it might have been a pyment, I forget) made with alfalfa honey. It was tremendously grassy, I actually put "chlorophyll" in the flavor description because it was that green grass tasting. Again, the others weren't as impressed but I enjoyed it.

A rhodomel in the same flight as that chocolate mead (which I did not judge) was gorgeous, and also very good. There were also some water-white meads.

wildoates
04-05-2011, 11:15 PM
It would be great if there was a list of all the meads entered and their maker's brief descriptions of them. I'm so curious!

triarchy
04-06-2011, 07:46 AM
Check out the MCI Facebook page... you'll find LOTS of pics there, and on associated pages, from many folks who took the time to document our experience this year!

Is there any other way to see the pictures, Ive managed to not have a Facebook account this far into my life and I dont really want to change that. But Id really like to see those pics...decisions, decisions ;)

wildoates
04-06-2011, 09:34 AM
I put the FB thing off too, but now I'm really glad I gave in. I've got kids scattered to the winds, and FB is a good place to find them all together, more or less in the same place.

I haven't looked at everyone's photos yet, but I will!

Brad Dahlhofer
04-06-2011, 09:36 PM
Who got the most tipsy? Honestly I don't know. I don't remember much past the point when Glenn Exline brought out his bottles of scotch.... :drunken_smilie:

I'm lucky that I kept losing my glass, or I'd have fallen victim of said Scotch.

wayneb
04-07-2011, 10:31 AM
Hee... hee... hee... hee...! ;D

Glad to finally meet you in person, Brad! If the finances allow, I do plan on swinging up thru Detroit on my annual pilgrimage to NE Ohio (you're not too far out of the way), and if all those stars align I'll definitely stop by!

TheAlchemist
04-07-2011, 05:55 PM
I don't remember much past the point when Glenn Exline brought out his bottles of scotch.... :drunken_smilie:

Glen Fiddich..."Glenn Exline" sounds like the name of a Scotch to me...

danidiver
04-07-2011, 07:48 PM
Glen Fiddich..."Glenn Exline" sounds like the name of a Scotch to me...

Oh PLEASE don't give him any more ideas ;) It's dangerous enough in our basement!

Dani

Oskaar
04-07-2011, 08:12 PM
Is there any other way to see the pictures, Ive managed to not have a Facebook account this far into my life and I dont really want to change that. But Id really like to see those pics...decisions, decisions ;)

I'll be posting up the photos to the MCI Website in some photo galleries. Just cleaning up photos and resizing, etc. They will be up in the next several days.

Cheers,

Oskaar

wildoates
04-07-2011, 09:34 PM
Oh PLEASE don't give him any more ideas It's dangerous enough in our basement!

Chortle!

Love it.

djslort
04-07-2011, 11:30 PM
I was there and I still missed a lot. While I did get to meet Vicky, I missed meeting Oskaar, Wayne, and Alan. But that said, the food pairing event was incredible, well worth the cost of flying to Colorado. I have never had that many different meads before, my knowledge grew immensely. At the awards banquet there were many more different types of meads than I could sample (I was driving). The chocolate was far better than I could have imagined.

I entered two meads, even though I didn't think I was ready for prime time. While I didn't do as well as I would have liked (I got blasted in a very nice way), I learned a lot from the judges. Implementing the suggestions will make me a far better mead maker.

I would have liked to see much more detail on the Winners Circle pairings. Also, I would kill to have a taste of the best of show winners mead. One comment I heard from one of the judges was how much better the armatures mead was than the pro's. Given how good the commercial stuff was, I cannot even imagine what Best of ( amateur ) Show was.

I am hoping next years venue will be bigger, Saturday night was very crowded. But with access to several hundred meads :-D

Already starting some new batches for next years contest based on the judges input. Hope to see all of you there, it is more than worth it.

dan

wildoates
04-07-2011, 11:42 PM
I'm glad Sacramento County was represented

AToE
04-08-2011, 02:53 AM
I was there and I still missed a lot. While I did get to meet Vicky, I missed meeting Oskaar, Wayne, and Alan.

That's weird, were you judging or stewarding, or just there for the paired tasting and awards ceremony? We must have seen eachother at least a few times, but the problem was I had no idea who was from gotmead, so I didn't know who to talk to and ask what their handles were!

djslort
04-08-2011, 08:30 AM
Just went to the Mead and Food pairing and the awards dinner. On the other hand, after my 20th sample on each day, I don't remember a lot ;-)

Next year, and I will *not* miss next year, I may volunteer as a shlep. That should help. Maybe Vicky could put up for sale pins with the Got Mead Logo that we could wear.

Medsen Fey
04-08-2011, 09:17 AM
Tut tut people.

It is obvious that folk are not buying enough GotMead Gear (http://www.gotmead.com/cgi-bin/store/cpshop.cgi). If folk wear their GotMead goodies, everyone will be easy to spot. Of course, if Oskaar shows up wearing a GotMead thong - look out! :)

Dan McFeeley
04-08-2011, 10:56 AM
Maybe for future MCI gatherings, GotMeaders could have small name tags, with the GotMead logo on it? Or maybe put up a sign up sheet in the lobby for GotMeaders to get together for breakfast.

--

wayneb
04-08-2011, 11:08 AM
Dani (danidiver) suggested in another thread that we should add Gotmead handles/avatar pics to the badges of those MCI staff & volunteers who are also Gotmead members. If that ends up being workable, I think it is a great idea - and no need to try to keep track of multiple badges that way!

Of course a Gotmead badge for those not participating as volunteers would also work - but if any of you plan on showing up in future years and you don't volunteer, well Oskaar and I both may have something to say to you! :eek: ;)

wildoates
04-08-2011, 12:18 PM
That sounds like a good idea...assuming I get to go one o' these years. :p

Oskaar
04-08-2011, 02:03 PM
Dani (danidiver) suggested in another thread that we should add Gotmead handles/avatar pics to the badges of those MCI staff & volunteers who are also Gotmead members. If that ends up being workable, I think it is a great idea - and no need to try to keep track of multiple badges that way!

Of course a Gotmead badge for those not participating as volunteers would also work - but if any of you plan on showing up in future years and you don't volunteer, well Oskaar and I both may have something to say to you! :eek: ;)

A Got Mead merge field is no problem for badges. It's getting people to fill the form out properly that is the issue.

cam07ds
04-08-2011, 03:21 PM
How about some summary of cool meads from you folks who were there.

Clearly that chocolate one made and impact.

So what mead came from farthest away?
Which one was made with the most exotic fruit or spice?
What was the weirdest weirdomel?
Which mead had the prettiest color?
Who got the "tipsiest"

And most importantly, where are the details from the Winners Circle pairing event?

The Chocolate one was great but when it was mixed with that Orange/Tangerine mead it was like eating a choc orange slice, a very good mix! I decided to get a major cold starting on Friday so I was not the tipiest one this year. I will have to admit that the taste of Heart of Darkness was fantastic also I'm not sure how much longer bottle #39 is going to last in the cellar. I hope to see all of you next year we need the volunteers.

Cheers!
Steve

djslort
04-08-2011, 09:06 PM
Of course, if Oskaar shows up wearing a GotMead thong - look out! :)[/QUOTE]

Ok Medsen,
I have spent a good part of the day looking. Can you tell me where to find the Got Mead Thong !!!:o

wildoates
04-08-2011, 11:23 PM
Of course, if Oskaar shows up wearing a GotMead thong - look out! :)

Ok Medsen,
I have spent a good part of the day looking. Can you tell me where to find the Got Mead Thong !!!:o[/QUOTE]


http://www.cafepress.com/+classic_thong,5382672

TheAlchemist
04-08-2011, 11:27 PM
Ok Medsen,
I have spent a good part of the day looking. Can you tell me where to find the Got Mead Thong !!!:o


http://www.cafepress.com/+classic_thong,5382672[/QUOTE]

Ha! That's great.
I especially like the:
"100% Satisfaction Guarantee 24/7 Customer Service"

schlapppy
04-08-2011, 11:43 PM
any chance of any award winning mead recipes being posted in the patron's section?

akueck
04-09-2011, 12:34 AM
any chance of any award winning mead recipes being posted in the patron's section?

The braggots that Wayne (2010) and Alan (2011) won medals with are already there.

AToE
04-09-2011, 01:00 PM
As is Medsen's gold medal winner from this year.

I'm sure lots of the winners have brewlogs up, it's just a matter of people identifying themselves. Last year I think quite a few winners never stepped forward, and I think a grand total of ONE person posted their scores.

I personally want to bring as much of what happened at the Cup onto this site, to get everyone here excited about it for next year so that there are even more entries and volunteers.

RickyHansing
04-13-2011, 08:28 PM
Hey everyone,

This is my first post on this website, I saw all the talk of scores and Braggots and thought I'd join up and join in. I'll totally post my scores and notes as soon as I get them. This was the first time I've entered the Mazer Cup, and after AToE's description, I'm pretty sad I didn't show up.

They said that they shipped the awards and sheets yesterday, so I'll post my info as soon as I get it. I'm pretty excited about winning one of those things, my friend Roland won an award a couple years ago and I've been eyeing it ever since.

Anyway, nice to meet you all, my name is Ricky.

wildoates
04-13-2011, 08:42 PM
Hello, Ricky, and welcome to Gotmead! If you make mead, you will very much like it here. :)

AToE
04-13-2011, 11:46 PM
Welcome! So are you saying you won one and are waiting for it to arrive, or have no idea if you won and are waiting to find out?

Either way, those scoresheets are worth their weight in gold in my opinion (even though mine happened to be fairly light on info - most of the ones I saw being filled out were very extensive). Next year I'm sending in everything I have, regardless of whether it's my best or not - I can't think of a better way to get feedback when you live somewhere without experienced mead people. ;D

RickyHansing
04-14-2011, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the welcome you two,

AToE, I agree, score sheets are well worth the entry fee. I've entered a couple homebrew competitions before and the judges notes really did a great job of pointing out ways of making my beers better. I am especially interested in the notes on a Chocolate Mead that I entered. As for winning something, yeah, I got Gold in Braggot, that's why I mentioned posting scores for it. And you said you won Silver, that's awesome. If we all lived closer it would be great to do a tasting of the winners in a category. In a homebrew competition here in Utah a friend of mine and I won Gold and Silver in Stout, and it was awesome to taste the subtle differences between the two and think, 'how in the hell did they pick one over the other?'.

I'm a fan of Mead and making Mead, so I do think I will have to post on here some more. Thanks again for the friendly welcome!

---Ricky H.

AToE
04-14-2011, 12:14 PM
Cool, I definitely look forward to you posting that - if you feel like posting the recipe as well in the same thread that'd be awesome.

What kind of braggot was it? Or will I just have to wait until you get those sheets to find out?! :)

wayneb
04-14-2011, 12:44 PM
Ricky, Welcome to the "Gotmead" community, and CONGRATS on your gold mazer!! Now you truly have something to braggot about! ;D

RickyHansing
04-14-2011, 02:24 PM
As luck would have it, I have the day off and my sheets just got dropped off in my mailbox. I don't have my cup yet, but I assume they are shipping it separately. So here are the notes on the Braggot, I called it "Honey CombOver", because I have a stupid sense of humor.

One judge gave me: Aroma 8/10, Appearance 5/6, Flavor 21/24, overall 9/10 and Total 43/50
The second judge was a little nicer and gave: Aroma 9/10, Appearance 5/6, Flavor 22/24, overall 9/10 and Total 45/50

The notes were mixed, one judge thought it needed a bigger mouthfeel and the other noticed that it was a bit hazy. Over all a very nice critique. I totally agree with everything that they said.

As for what type of Braggot it was, it was essentially an American Pale Ale with orange blossom honey in there. I added a couple secret ingredients for complexity and had a somewhat tricky mash schedule, but other than that it is pretty simple. Let me re-work this recipe a bit before I post any specifics.

Wayne, thanks! And as for the "braggoting" about the award, I once named a Braggot "Brad the Braggart Braggot" after an old friend.

---Ricky H.

wayneb
04-14-2011, 02:26 PM
Yup - to confirm, the mazers are shipping separately. Look for a small box with a priority mail sticker on it to show up at your place soon!

TheAlchemist
04-14-2011, 09:09 PM
...nice to meet you all, my name is Ricky....I have a stupid sense of humor.



Welcome, Ricky. Thanks for joining us. You are not alone in the sense of humor department...God bless OrangeBlossomHoney...

RickyHansing
04-15-2011, 09:40 PM
Alchemist, thanks for the welcome. And I agree, Orange Blossom Honey is something made in heaven. I've been loving Lavender Honey a lot recently as well, not in Braggots though.

---Ricky H.