S J Klein

S J Klein's picture
Beer Judge

Picking up homebrewing on a bicycle trip across Australia in the 80's, S J. became the official brewer of his dorm in college. Turning an obsession into a profession, he attended the Siebel Institute long program, and started and ran the Borealis Brewery for 7 years, after which he became serious about judging. S J doesn't have a favorite style of beer, so much as he appreciates a beer that is well made. He's looking for balance, character, and "something to knock my socks off". He lives in Anchorage, Alaska, which from time to time has more breweries per capita than any other city in the world.

My reviews

Topcutter IPA

Topcutter IPA Bale Breaker beer
Judges Rating:
85
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
32 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

A nice interpretation of a well-hopped style. The beer pours brilliantly clear out of the can, and it's bright and bubbly. The nose is caramel and pine, with notes almost reminiscent of spruce sap. I can't quite tell, but I sense a fair bit of alcohol in the nose too. It starts with a nice... Read More

Pike Entire

The Pike Entire Barrel Aged Stout Beer
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

This beer is thick and black with a dark brown head. The nose is rich with molasses and toffee. Just a hint of oak or bourbon. In the mouth it's drier than the nose led me to believe. It's not terribly sweet, which is a nice surprise. It's got a dry bitterness too, the result of generous roasted... Read More

Interurban IPA

Fremont Beer Interurban IPA
Judges Rating:
84
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
32 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

Holy Hophead! This beer is very hop-forward. American IPAs are typically more aggressively hopped than their British counterparts, and this beer is on the far end of the spectrum. In the nose I found orange peel and hopleaf, a little paper, and subtle hints of caramel and baked pineapple. The... Read More

77 Fremont Select

77 Fremont Select Session IPA Beer
Judges Rating:
79
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
32 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

The "session" style is a nice alternative to the hop and alcohol bombs that many breweries seem to be throwing around these days. A beer that's lighter in alcohol has its own challenges, too: Lower alcohol means less goods there to mask flaws and provide an interesting experience. As a Session ... Read More

Pinedrops IPA

Deschutes Beer Pinedrops IPA
Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

This beer's aroma reminds me of a pine forest – moss and earthy with hints of orange peel and light esters. It pours with a slight haze, copious bubbles and a rich white head. Upon taking a sip, you get a nice hop experience that's not too malty or sweet. While definitely hop-forward, there is... Read More

SuperFuzz

SuperFuzz
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Blood Orange is an interesting addition to a beer. I was afraid this beer would either be soda-poppy, or too dry to hold up to the fruit that was added to it (fruit sugars in beer tend to ferment completely out, leaving fruit essence but no fruit flavor), but I was happily impressed. The nose is... Read More

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