A&S Judging: Mead Criteria / Packaging?

Vicki Marsh zarazena at io.com
Wed Oct 23 10:53:39 PDT 1996

Greetings, Ansteorra,

When judging any A & S, I find that the first thing I look for is brief, but
good documentation. I like to see that the artisan has some knowledge of the
actual history and how things were made then.  

Then, a short description of how they made their item, and what ingredients
they used (especially in food or drink- nice for those with food allergies).

When I taste homebrew, I look for a smoothness of the blend of ingredients,
and to see if too much of anything overpowers the palate that's not supposed
to (like the sterilizing solution used!).  I personally do not like dry
meads and wines, but understand fairly well what good ones taste like
(Definitely not astringent to the point of getting a permanent pucker or
feeling like I'll be blowing dust for the next hour). Judging
ales,lagers,and stouts are entirely dependent on exactly what kind of brew
was intended. The amount of natural carbonation, the head, the thickness, etc.
I wrote this last night and didn't get to post it then.  Since then I have
read Gunnora and Pug's posts re: this subject.  Thank you, Gunnora, for
codifying the mead tasting. I knew about the sediment and the syrupy taste,
but didn't include it specifically.

Pug, I will look into finding period sources.  I know I have seen
them...somewhere around here....


On packaging, I enjoy seeing a pleasant display with tasting cups provided
(disposable ones are nice - not period looking, but hygenic). I can tell you
that when I am gifted with a bottle of brew, I *really* like a label that
will tell me what it is that I am to be drinking.  Mystery booze is a little
scary ("What are you drinking, Scottie?." "Itsh...itsh...itsh green, Captain")

Please note, some brews need to be tasted immediately upon opening, others
need to air - it just depends - but it should be done properly.  Some drinks
just taste flat if you open it too soon before the judging.

Please realize that I am *not* a Laurel, but I have been called upon to
judge and assist in judging A & S competitions over the years. Nor am I an
expert by any means in the field of brewing, but have some training (and
years of tasting!!!) in the matter.

Hmmmm. I think I'll go try some of the Pear Cordial that Rhiain gave me. I
am developing quite a thirst.

Zara Zina....etc.

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list