I just received my results from the Sam Adams Longshot homebrewing competition. I had entered a Vanilla Baltic Porter which was my own recipe using extract and partial mash. I used whole vanilla beans added during secondary fermentation. Pretty satisfied with the results as my final score was a 37.5. That's right between ratings of "Very Good" and "Excellent".
The funny thing is that I didn't think this beer would fair very well because I thougth I used WAY too much vanilla. It almost tasted like medicine to me. But the two judges said "light vanilla flavor" and "just enough vanilla". One judge said that it just needed a few "tweaks" and that I would have a winner.
One other thing that both judges said was that there was a hint of astringency. This seems to be a recurring theme with my beers. This is proabaly from sparging too hot or too long. Also they said there was just some slight phenolic/estery characteristics. I guess I need to get serious and get a fridge for my fermentation so I can control the temp better.
So overall, another encouraging competition result.