If you are a BJCP Proctor for the Taste Exam please, please, please bring you “A” game. Recently I graded a set where neither proctor was excellent, in fact, one was actually substandard to be used as a litmus test for the examinees. The other was weak, but not awful. Both were ranked National, but keep in mind the score is a composite of written and taste. Current judges composite score is 50/50 and you must have better than 80% on taste to take the written, but older judges may have scored using the 70% written/30% taste scores and may not truly have a National level score sheet. I believe this was the case with the recent exam. Under the current system, 50/50 a person with 80 (the lowest taste possible to take the written) would still need an 80 on the written to be National. With the old exam a person took both the written and taste together and the higher the written the lower the taste could be so you would have a knowledgeable judge who was not a great at evaluation. I took a minute and ran the numbers and it looks like this for National under the legacy exam (numbers rounded):

80W – 80T
81W – 78T
82W – 75T
83W – 73T
84W – 71T
85W – 68T
86W – 66T
87W – 64T
88W – 61T
89W – 59T
90W – 57T

So if you were a super knowledgeable judge you could basically crap out on the taste portion to the point of failure and still achieve a good ranking. In reality that did not happen often, but when it did you end up with a knowledgeable person who creates a score sheet which is not up to the point it should be for their rank.

As a grader I need the best information I can get. A few words on the page which don’t allow me to virtually evaluate the beer are useless. Graders should compare the examinee sheets to one another to determine if an attribute was present which may have been overlooked by the proctors, but they should not have to rely on the proctor sheets in order to know what was and was not present in the beer. So if you are asked to be a proctor, you must create the best possible score sheet. Otherwise you are just wasting your time and the time of the graders.

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