James Link

James Link's picture
Beer Judge

A homebrewer in Connecticut for 31 years and a member of the BJCP for 29, Jim worked with Pat Baker, the driving force behind the creation and inception of the BJCP, while advancing to Grand Master ranking in 2001. With several decades of judging experience under his belt (along with many fine brews), Jim has served as Associate Exam Director for the BJCP,  appeared on Connecticut Public Television and worked with international beer experts Michael Jackson and Jim Koch in judging Best of Show for the Samuel Adams Longshot competition in 1995. James was also a judge at the 2015,2016 and 2018 Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

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My reviews

Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

A host of aromas issue forth upon initial pour. Chocolate fudge notes marry with vanilla and roasted grains and are mixed with a defined alcoholic warmth. Whiskey barrel aromatics were also noted, though they were more subtly stated.

This beer poured pitch black in color (too dark to... Read More

1916 Shore Shiver

1916 Shore Shiver Forgotten Boardwalk Beer
Judges Rating:
86
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

This American IPA released a resiny, citrus hop aroma upon initial pour. Very fruity, but without any one identifiable fruit dominating the aromatics. Ethanol at appropriate levels delivered a warming to the nose. This beer poured a turbid deep amber in color with a big white head that held up... Read More

Judges Rating:
89
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Smuttlabs Chestnut Saison is a hazy, pale, orange-colored ale with light conditioning and an off-white head, which was somewhat understated. Spicy yeast notes are evident in the bouquet as well as some citrusy and spicy notes and a hint of sweetness. 

The flavor also exhibited spicy... Read More

Big A Double IPA

Smuttynose Beer Big A Double IPA
Judges Rating:
93
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

This pale, orange-colored ale was slightly cloudy and supported a medium-white head that held up nicely. Lots of fresh hop aromas are manifest here. Most prevalent are the citrus fruit and pine resin fragrances, which are accompanied by a Caramel malt sweetness.

The hop flavor was... Read More

Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

This review of Flotation Device / Tart Cherry Pineapple by Pontoon Brewing was written in conjunction with the style guidelines as provided by the Beer Judge Certification Program under subheading 29B Fruit and Spice Beer, and sampled in a glass chalice after being poured from a 12 ounce can.... Read More

Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

This is a very different approach to a Berliner Weisse; it features a distinct peach aroma followed by a light smokiness and a firm tart character. It is pale straw in color and hazy with low head retention, which is not unusual for beers of this style due to high acid content.

The flavor... Read More

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