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

Obsidian Stout

Deschutes Obsidian Stout Beer
Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Burnt umber in color and dark as night, this beer pours a big, rich head that lasts. The nose is rich, with toffee and molasses overpowering any hop or other malt notes. It's warm and rich, though not too strong to enjoy. An assertive roasted malt bite and a nice sweetness play in your mouth,... Read More

Honey Kölsch

Honey Kolsch by Rogue Ales & Spirits
Judges Rating:
85
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
15 / 20

An effervescent, sparkly, and pleasant example of a kölsch. The nose is misleading as to the experience of the beer. It starts with a light straw, almost corn-husk nose. As it warms up, floral notes start to peek through, though there are no noticeable hops in the aroma. It has a nice, light... Read More

Little Sumpin' Extra

Little Sumpin Extra Beer Lagunitas
Judges Rating:
93
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
20 / 20

A lot of brewers have gotten into the white IPA style lately, with a wide idea of what makes it "white." This Double White IPA embraces the concepts of a witbier with really nice results. The nose is full of grapefruit with some horseblanket. There is no notable malt in the nose, and when you... Read More

Aunt Sally

Aunt Sally Lagunitas Beer
Judges Rating:
82
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
18 / 24
Flavor:
33 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

On first blush, the nose was grassy. Just grassy? Yes, but… on second sniff maybe it's lemongrass? If I were to parse it, I get lemon peel and straw. The beer is crystal clear, with big bubbles. It's medium-gold with a pure white head that thins out fairly quickly.

It is indeed sour.... Read More

Mocha Porter

Mocha Porter
Judges Rating:
96
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
40 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

A roasty, toasty, boasty beer. It will keep you up... if it doesn't knock you down first! The coffee and chocolate are very well balanced in this beer. They are here to support the beer, not the other way around. It is surprisingly dry, neither more dry nor more astringent than it should be, and... Read More

Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

Woah! This is a big beer, a hop bomb and a full-frontal assault. There is pine and peel in the vinous nose alongside a nice tart maltiness. The aroma is rich and wine-like with hints of orange blossom. The flavor starts with a sharp tart maltiness that hints at alcoholic strength, then... Read More

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