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Bourbon County Rare AND King Henry – My final video review

This is my last review!

This is the Snobby Beer review of Bourbon County Stout Rare and King Henry from Goose Island Brewing Company in Chicago, IL. Bourbon County Rare was aged for almost 2 years in Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year barrels. Once the barrels were emptied, Goose Island brewed a batch of barley wine called King Henry to fill them.

From the Goose Island website:


“Brewer’s Notes:
This stout was aged for two years in the finest old barrels Goose Island used in its 18 years of bourbon barrel-aging beers! A true rarity—savor and share it only with those you hold dear, as it will never be made again.

Recipe Information:

Style: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 13%
International Bitterness Units: 60
Color: Midnight
Hops: Willamette
Malt: 2-Row, Munich, Chocolate, Caramel, Roast Barley, Debittered Black
Serving Suggestions:
Preferred Glass: Snifter
Food Pairings: Flourless Chocolate Coffee Cake
Cheese Pairings: Capriole Bourbon Chocolate Torte
Cellaring Notes: Develops in the bottle up to 5 years “

King Henry:

“Brewer’s Notes:
Aged in bourbon barrels, King Henry is a burgundy hued English-style barleywine with aromas of vanilla, oak, and dark fruit. Caramel and toffee flavors blend together with bold notes of bourbon delivered in a smooth body followed by a malty finish. No matter the occasion, King Henry promises a regal drinking experience.

Recipe Information:

Style: Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.4%
International Bitterness Units: 60
Color: Burgundy
Hops: Pilgrim, Styrian
Malts: Pale, Caramel 120, Crystal Wheat, Dark Chocolate

Serving Suggestions:
Preferred Glass: Snifter
Cellaring Notes: Develops in the bottle up to 5 years”

Questions? Suggestions? Let me know what you think! Grab a beer and leave a comment.

It’s been real.

It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that I will no longer be producing video reviews. It’s time to say goodbye. This probably isn’t a complete shock seeing how I haven’t posted one in nine months. Rather than just have this little blog fade out into obscurity, I decided to make a post that might give some insight into the decision to let Snobby Beer go. I’m going to be completely honest with this post. Here’s why I’m giving it up:

  1. It’s not fun anymore. Back when I first started doing the Snobby Beer thing, I was a complete novice. I was a casual beer drinker who wanted to get a little bit more out of the money I was putting into what I was drinking. As time went on, I was getting caught up in making sure I had the newest and rarest beers. I was spending too much money on beer that would end up just sitting in my closet. I traded with people from all across the country to get the next dust-collecting “whale” of a beer. It got old, and somewhere along the way I lost the spark of finding and sampling new and interesting beers. I’m at a point now where I just want to drink a good home brew or session beer, not a mega-rare-barrel-aged-imperial-whatever. Plus, making a video review takes a lot of work on my part, and sometimes it felt like more trouble than it was worth.
  2. It takes free time, which is something I really don’t have. This year, I co-founded a creative agency and have been working nonstop. I am doing video production well over 40 hours each week.
  3. I don’t want to stop enjoying beer. The last thing I want to do is get burnt out on something as easy as drinking beer. Chasing beers to review is an expensive and time-consuming hobby. I don’t want to get jaded.
  4. Writing is funner and easier. I enjoy writing “articles” about whatever I am into at the time. I have been working on stuff for Dayton Most Metro, and I tend to have a lot of fun with what I write there.

Thanks to anyone that actually watched the videos, and thanks to all the people who helped out over the years. It has been a lot of fun drinking beer on camera. I will still be writing silly little beer articles for Dayton Most Metro, so keep your eyes peeled for them. I might still have some updates and written reviews from time to time, but I will be shifting my focus away from this blog for the most part.

Look for my final video review coming soon.



- Max

Kuhnhenn Barrel Aged Solar Eclipse – Snobby Beer Written Reviews

Kuhnhenn Barrel Aged Solar Eclipse Imperial Stout

Let me start off by saying that this beer was “donated” to me by an amazing fellow named Wade Howard, aka Wade5614 on Beer Advocate. To be more specific, he sent me the Dark Lord glass , a bunch of Kuhnhenn beers, a Kuhnhenn Mead, and a 2009 Bourbon County Stout. For no reason. Truly a class act. I owe him big time, but for the time being a shout out on my little website is the least I can do. Thanks so much, Wade!

Down to business: this beer is Kuhnhenn’s Barrel Aged Solar Eclipse. Clocking in at a whopping 18%, this beer has “aged well” from the time it was brewed according to the label. Kuhnhenn is one of my favorite breweries because most of their beers are huge. Like, above 13% huge. Sure, they have a normal lineup of smaller beers, but they are known for producing a bunch of gigantic beers on a regular basis that almost always satisfy their  fans’ taste buds (including mine). I’ve never had this beer, and I am super excited to try it.


I’m not going to lie to you, it’s hard to write something original for all these imperial stouts. It’s black. It had a mocha head that went away super fast. It has alcohol legs on the side of the glass. Reviewing is easy! [Read more...]

The Affligem Pouring Kit or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being a Sell Out (Link)

I know I don’t update this site a whole lot, but I’m still getting my blog on over at Dayton Most Metro. I recently wrote a little article about the Affligem tasting kit and how I became a massive sellout. Check it out!

Affligem Chalice

Hair of the Dog Adam – Snobby Beer Written Reviews

Hair of the Dog Adam

For the first review of 2013, I decided to pick a beer called Adam (get it? ADAM! Like the first man ever!?). Adam from Hair of the Dog is kind of like an old ale, and kinda like an imperial stout. It’s smoked, bottle-conditioned, and 10% ABV which means it’s totally ageable. It’s also the first beer that HOTD ever made all the way back in 1994. This bottle is batch 84 (brewed on 10-11-11, bottled on 1-12-12) which makes it just over a year old at the time of drinking.

From the HOTD website:

Adam is a recreation of a historic beerstyle. Originally made in Dortmunder, Germany, it was the first beer I produced when I opened Hair of the Dog. Rich in flavor, Adam is best served as a dessert beer. It is great with chocolate or cigars, or just a warm fire and good company. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 50 IBUs.


This beer looks… well, like an imperial stout more than anything. It’s pretty much dark brown, almost black. It has a huge latte-colored head that sits like a pillow on top. Bottle conditioning makes the head on beers look delicious. I totally support the way they make smaller bubbles. I mean, just look at it. LOOK AT IT! [Read more...]

Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer – Snobby Beer Reviews

This is the Snobby Beer review of Mamma Mia Pizza Beer from Pizza Beer Company in St. Charles, Illinois. This beer is made with garlic, basil, oregano, and tomato, and is designed to mimic the taste of pizza. According to the bottle, this beer is so good it needs to be enjoyed out of a wine glass. Special guest Natalie Phillips in this review! Thanks to Chris Duffy for sending me this beer!
From the Mamma Mia website:

“Pizza Beer” was developed Labor Day, 2006 by Tom and Athena Seefurth in our home brewery in Campton Township, IL. It all started with a surplus of tomatoes, a bag of garlic & an idea that started early in the spring when we planted our garden herbs.The goal was to create a beer that would pair with a wide variety of foods, especially our favorite, Pizza! In the end, we were pleasantly surprised that this “mess” turned out to be the best thing since the guy with chocolate that bumped into Ralph Mouth & mixed up the chocolate with the peanut butter! Indeed, the world will love “Pizza Beer”.

Facing a difficult task, we immediately did an internet search to gather information on using the “oddball” ingredients in creating a beer. Certainly someone had published such a recipe! We found beer made with garlic, hemp seed, coriander, hot peppers, maple syrup, honey, citrus peels & more. But what about tomatoes & the possibility of combining all of our favorite flavors into this beer? We then grabbed our favorite book written by a fellow Chicago Beer Society member, Randy Mosher. He wrote a book called “Radical Brewing” which has been read cover to cover a few times. Randy mentions a lot weirder stuff than pizza spices. He talks about mushrooms, hot rocks & stuff that is really radical! In a quandary, we called one of our best friends & creative brewmasters in the world, Kris Kalav. We told him of our quest to make this really cool brew & wanted to know if he had any experience brewing with tomatoes. After he stopped laughing, we bounced a few ideas around and Voila! “Pizza Beer” was on it’s way to fame. To our knowledge, our home brewed concoction is the “World’s First Culinary Beer.”

Now, being homebrewers, we enjoy the freedom to create whatever we want. We usually refer to a book by Ray Daniels called “Designing Great Beers” when creating a style of beer that we intend on submitting to a contest. We usually concoct the recipe by memory & measure ingredients the way your grandmother did, pinch of this, smidgen of that. Something happened that day. We figured if this really turned out like we want it to, we better be able to duplicate it! Lo and behold, the amazing “Pizza Beer” was born.”

Questions? Suggestions? Let me know what you think! Grab a beer and leave a comment.

Firestone Walker Parabola – Snobby Beer Review

This is the Snobby Beer review of Parabola (2012) from Firestone Walker Brewing Company. This imperial stout is aged in a variety of oak barrels for 12 months, and is released annually. Special guest Natalie Phillips in this review!

From the Firestone Walker website:

“Parabola has been a major component of past anniversary blends and is one of our most aggressive offerings. This beer features bold bourbon and tobacco aromas and a rich dark chocolate, charred oak flavor. Parabola is best enjoyed in moderation and is a perfect beer to pair with those chocolate dessert favs.

REMEMBER: Watch for bottled on dates located on the necks or bottom left corner of the label for each of our beers. Our Proprietor’s Reserve Series, Barrel-aged beers are built to aged carefully. Storing in a dark place at or below 40F will allow them to best age for several years.”

Questions? Suggestions? Let me know what you think! Grab a beer and leave a comment.

Elysian The Great Pumpkin – Snobby Beer Written Reviews

elysian the great pumpkin

I originally planned on filming a review of this beer, but you know how it is. Time slips away from you, and before you know it it’s Halloween and you haven’t even bought the bag of Milky Ways that you were going to “pass out to the kids” even though nobody shows up at your house so you end up just eating an entire bag to yourself. Unlike that bag of Milky Ways (which I’ll be purchasing tomorrow when it’s on sale), tonight I decided to go ahead and cram this beer down my face in a pathetic attempt to get a Halloween-esque beer review up on Halloween.

The Great Pumpkin, brewed by Elysian Brewing Company, is brewed with pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, and spices. According to the bottle, it is the world’s first imperial pumpkin ale. Clocking in at 8% and 22 ounces, I’m sure to have an interesting review ahead of me.


I really think that appearance matters in a pumpkin beer. Not saying it doesn’t matter in other beers, but who wants to drink a pumpkin ale that is anything but orange? Nobody. Nobody does. Anyway, this beer is exactly what a pumpkin beer should look like. It’s the color of pumpkin meat, has a nice little head on it, slightly hazy – it just looks pumpkiny. If you imagined someone drinking beer out of a snifter while raking leaves, it would look like this beer. [Read more...]

Westvleteren 12 – Snobby Beer Reviews (Best beer in the world?)

This is the Snobby Beer review of the legendary Westvleteren 12 from the abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren, Belgium. This authentic Trappist Quad is regarded as one of the greatest beers in the world, sometimes even considered to be the greatest. This bottle comes from the only American release of this beer, the Westvleteren “brick”. Can a beer with this much hype actually live up to it?

From the Westvleteren website:

“With the exception of our Blond beer, Trappist beer will keep for years: give the beer time and it will continue to ripen. The minimum sell-by date is stamped on the capsule. Store the bottles vertically in a dark place between 12° and 16° C. It is better not to refrigerate Trappist 8 and Trappist 12; Trappist Blond, on the other hand, may also be served cooled.”

Questions? Suggestions? Let me know what you think! Grab a beer and leave a comment.

Stone Enjoy By 11.09.12 IPA – Snobby Beer Written Reviews

Stone Enjoy By 11.09.12 IPA

This beer has gotta be enjoyed fresh! I know because the bottle told me so. So fresh, in fact, that this very review is going to be irrelevant in a matter of weeks. Not only does the freshness factor come into play, but the fact that this beer has a very limited distribution (this batch only made it to Ohio and Colorado in small numbers) make this review nearly pointless. However, as the ever-vigilant beer drinker that I am, I figure why the heck not? I mean come on, this beer was only bottled six days ago! You can’t get much fresher than that unless you feel like swimming around in fermenters… which really doesn’t sound like that bad of an idea now that I mention it…

Anyhow, this beer is 9.4% alcohol by volume and was designed to be consumed FRESH. Like, ridiculously fresh (did I mention it was only bottled six days ago?). They threw a bunch of hops in late into the boil (a technique called “hop bursting”) which contributes more hop flavor and aroma rather than bitterness. Check out more information about this beer here. To you Daytonians, this beer has pretty much sold out at most stores already (and thus more irrelevancy), but if you see it on the shelf at your favorite bottle shop then by all means pick it up. Let’s get to reviewin’.


This is what those in the advertising business call “Sex Appeal”. This beer just looks good. Crystal clear, yellow-orange-amber in color, resting under a slightly off-white head… Yeah, this is the kind of beer that makes mouths water. I love the look of a good IPA, and this beer has got that look. If this beer was a female, I would try my best to “holla”. If this beer was a painting in an art gallery, I would stare at it intensely and occasionally nod my head so everyone around me knew how much I knew about art or whatever. If this beer was a Big Mac, it would be the one in the picture and not the one you get when you order it. If this beer was a… Ok, you get my point. [Read more...]