View Full Version : How to judge a competition?

10-20-2006, 12:24 PM
I would like to host an annual mead competition.
The first is to be held December 2.

Is there a form out there which might help my judges
(all attendees are judges) organize their thoughts
and allow a simple grading?

I'm thinking along the lines of a mead "characteristics"

Thank you,

10-22-2006, 03:39 AM
Hey Buzzard,

You've asked a question that's kind of like "Define the Universe and give three examples" so my advice would be to keep it simple if you're not super concerned with grading, points, styles and guidelines.

If you go outside these forums and read my tasting notes, or in the Patron's Section under the Virtual Mead/Wine Tasting Room I generally arrange my tasting by:

1. Appearance (Color, Clarity, Volume)
2. Aroma and Flavor (Nose, varietal aromas/flavors/impressions, ingredient aromas, blending of ingredients, influence of alcohol, oak, acid, tannin, mouthfeel, different flavors on the fore, mid and finish, how long the finish lingers, and volume)
3. Overall Impressions (what you think of the mead as a whole, what jumps out, what is great, what is not so great, what impressed you and would you pay for it again.)

Generally it's a good idea to arrange your tasting so you are tasting the same things at the same times in the same way with the rest of your judging pane. It should be done blind, so that the judges never know what they are tasting other than a category and ingredient list along with a number for identification.

That's the really really basic way to go.

Here (http://www.meadfest.com/2007Forms/2007_IMF_HMMC_BJCP_Mead%20Guidelines_2004.pdf)are the BJCP Style Guidelines to give you a basic idea of what mead categories there are. Bear in mind that this set of categories was created by a "Beer Judge" certification program, rather than a mead-centric organization so everything is open to interpretation.

Best of luck,


10-22-2006, 12:27 PM
To the credit of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), we're currently working on several mead specific judge training aides/tools including a mead descriptor/characteristics list or "cheat sheet" you mentioned. The ultimate goal is to create a common language e.g. basic terms and to make mead evaluations more uniform in competitions. Not there yet, but it's certainly a step in the right direction!


10-22-2006, 06:48 PM
The IMA and the BJCP are supposed to be working on this together in order to have a set of standards that are consistant from one organization to the other.

Do you know if they are actively working on this at the moment because I've seen their go-forward position document but wasn't aware of any movement on this yet since the last emails I saw from Gordon Strong indicated that they hadn't yet spun up the project.



10-23-2006, 12:39 AM

AFAIK - The education project is currently being spearheaded by Kris England (CEP Director) who's trying to compile a list of common descriptors associated with various varietal honeys. I'm not sure how far along Chris & Kevin are, as I haven't seen much circulated in the last few weeks. I'm sure once the project is presentable then Gordon and the BJCP will actively pursue joint goals with the IMA?