Tap This: 6 beers to try this Valentine’s Day no matter who you’re with
Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated with a fine evening of food, chocolates, wine and flowers. However we need to re-examine this tradition and look at the beer offerings available to us now that will not only pair better with that box of chocolates, but may even be rich and chocolaty enough to replace the chocolates. Here is just a sampling of great beers to share with your loved one this Valentine’s Day or even enjoy alone, no one is judging.
1. Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout: At 10% ABV this Russian Imperial Stout is not a beer to be taken lightly. It features a dark chocolate punch true chocolate lovers will adore. The bitter dark chocolate notes are balanced with roasted malts with subtle hints of dark red fruits. If an aged bottle is available the dark red fruit flavor begins to come forward a bit more. This is certainly a chocolate-centric beer, but is not overly sweet. Lovers of stouts will fall in love with this beer.
2. Yard’s Brewing Company’s Chocolate Love Stout: Many of us are familiar with Yard’s incredibly smooth and highly enjoyable Love Stout. Every year, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Yard’s produces an even more incredible smooth version in Chocolate Love Stout. The chocolate explodes from this beer and it is present in the nose and taste along with subtle background notes of vanilla for a wonderful balance. This is the beer to celebrate the holiday with, but be warned it is brewed is very limited quantities and may be tough to find.
3. Boulder Beer’s Shake Chocolate Porter: This smooth chocolaty porter is a newer offering from Boulder, but it has quickly become one of its most popular beers and with good reason. The smooth body of the porter makes it a great choice for those who may find stouts a bit too heavy. Shake manages to deliver over the top chocolate and is a perfect choice for a dessert beer.
4. Wells and Young’s Young’s Double Chocolate Stout: This is a beer that delivers on its promise of bringing the double chocolate. This stout is like an adult version of a chocolate milkshake.. The aroma and taste are overwhelmed by sweet chocolate that manages to linger long on the palate. Lovers of stouts and chocolate will want to hunt this beer down.
5. Troegs Brewing Company’s Flying Mouflan: This barley wine is an impeccable Valentine’s Day beer. The sweetness of this beer and hoppy notes make for an interesting, but enjoyable experience. The best way to describe this beer is through the description given by owner John Trogner, “We classify this beer as pushing Nugget Nectar off the side of a cliff. It is bold and intense–think hops dipped in candied sugar and rolled in dark chocolate nibs.” Go get some, but make sure it has some age to it, the fresh ones will be too hoppy for some and lack the depth and sweetness.
6. Prairie Artisan Ales’ BOMB!: This is not a beer for the light hearted and tips the scales at an impressive 13 percent ABV. This American Imperial stout is aged with coffee, chocolate, vanilla beans and ancho chili peppers. The result is a complex sweetness with slight hint of pepper heat. Be on the lookout for the wide array of variants for this beer.
Whether you celebrate this holiday alone, with a loved one, or with friends, there is no better reason to pick up some great beers. No matter what happens you can always count on having great beer around and it will never get mad at you for leaving your dirty underwear on the floor.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.