Greetings Beekeepers and Contest Entrants
The Center would like to thank you for helping us to grow the Black Jar Contest, and we hope you will continue to participate in the future.
The 2012 Judging was held Nov. 12, at Laurey's in downtown Asheville. Scroll down for winners.
I'd like to describe how it was handled because I think you'd like to know:
We invited a wide cross-section of 'movers and shakers' to be our judges - folks from all walks of life, people of note, CEOs, tradesmen, artists, farmers, chefs, city councilmen, journalists, and entrepreneurs -
of fifty invited, forty braved the rain to give an enthusiastic effort for the elusive 'best taste'.
We seated them equally at 4 long tables. Each was given a score sheet and pencil. On each table were plates of fruit, mild cheeses, and crackers - pitchers of plain water and bottles of sparkling water - means of refreshing their palettes.
They were given instructions to judge each entry on a scale of 1 to 10 - solely on their subjective impression of how good each tasted.
The blank entries were hidden from judge's sight. Each had been assigned an arbitrary 4 digit number written with black marker on plain masking tape across the label area. None of the servers had any idea which entry went with any of the labeled jars - and a sealed envelope held the only key - an index of the entrants' information. Entries were divided into four equal batches. So we had four groups, A, B, C, D. Each had 10 judges, 2 servers, and 25% of the entries.
'Tasters' were administered via black sip straws dipped into samples and thrown away after. A team of two servers worked each table, concealing the jar in a linen serving napkin so that nothing of the color could be seen. After each taste every judge wrote a score in the appropriate column of their score sheet. When a serving team picked up the next entry, they went first to our Master Scorekeeper who tracked the judging on her laptop - saying something like "we are Group C, and this (#4235 for example) is our third entry". Another might come to her with "Group B, fifth entry is # 5674" etc. By this method we were able to track the results: the judges signed their score cards - which were gathered and presented to the Master Scorekeeper to enter and tabulate.
During the break, judges were able to view the large table displaying your labeled entries. They expressed astonishment at the diversity of color and admired the novelty of the assorted labels. What color went with that taste they'd just experienced? It dawned on them these honeys aren't available in stores.
OK. So the scores were entered, added, and the sum divided to calculate average score. The two highest were selected from each group. These were our finalists - 8 entries to be tasted by all 40 judges and scored by the same procedure.
Despite taking longer than we promised, most judges stuck around to hear the winners and where from? The envelope was opened, and the Master Scorekeeper announced the third highest was #2054. Second #9718. First #5448.
According to our index sheet these are:
1st Place Virginia Webb Clarkesville GA $500
2nd Place Janet Peterson Fairview NC $250
3rd Place Paul Vonk Mountain City GA $125
I'd like to mention that several of our 'out of area' honeys scored very high so we'll create a special category award for these in the future.
Checks and ribbons will be given out at our Awards Picnic on Saturday Nov.17 Noon - 3 PM. If any of you who plan to attend and haven't RSVP ed me - would you do so ASAP? We want to be sure we have plenty of good food on hand :)
Thanks for participating!
Center For Honeybee Research
Contest Rules Frequently Asked Questions