Beer and Chocolate for Valentines Day? The beer people out there who read this already know that this is a winning combination, but for those of you who haven’t thought of this winning mix of flavors, there’s still some time!
Nothing against the all-too-common wine, champagne or dozen roses, but for a lot less money you can pick up some really tasty beer, some even packaged in fancy cork-topped bottles! Pair a nice beer with some quality chocolates and I think you’ll have an enjoyable time even if you don’t have a date!
Let’s start with the obvious. Porters and stouts in general have something of a coffee and/or chocolate flavor profile to them anyway. Sometimes, I’ll just have any porter or stout as a dessert beer. Lots of people do that. (I think?)
But, you can step it up a notch for Valentines Day and also eliminate any chances of messing up by buying a beer with the word Chocolate already in the name! Here’s three Chocolate beers I’ve tried recently that would be perfect choices.
Sam Adams Chocolate Bock.
When I rated this beer, I gave it a rare 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really liked this beer, but if I had to do it over I would probably give it a 4 now that I’ve had other chocolate beers (but you never forget your first, right?)
Looking back to the review of the Chocolate Bock, I noted that “The Sam Adams Chocolate Bock definitely has a thicker feel to it, medium to heavy body I would say, but it’s really a smooth sipper – no sting, no bite, and I can’t really pick up on much of an alcohol taste at all. This is a 5.5% ABV beer, so it isn’t too strong in that regard…”
I had this beer in 2008, but I would definitely buy it again. The other neat thing about this chocolate beer is the presentation. Your date won’t be looking at you like you brought a 40 oz of Bud to dinner. The Sam Adams brew is packaged in a classy-looking black bottle with an embossed metallic label and although its got a regular pop-top, its concealed in a nice silver wrapping.
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
I actually reviewed the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout for last Valentine’s Day and it was another 4 star beer for me. (Do you see a trend?) At 5.2%, this beer is also not too heavy on the alcohol side, and looking back I noted that “The Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is definitely chocolate infused (duh), but not so much that its overdone. Rich chocolaty flavors are experienced throughout the whole tasting experience. From the first sip, to the finish, and even a little chocolatiness hangs in there with the ever so slightly bitter aftertaste. Really nice stuff. “
The Young’s beer is also a great choice. It comes in a semi-fancy looking bottle, no foil wrapping but certainly presentable in it’s thick English bottle. If you want, you can also pick up this beer n a 6 pack of aluminum cans which does nothing to harm the flavor of the beer. Some would argue that it’s even better in the cans but I think you lose some style points there. The main advantage I think of the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is that it is made year round and is very easy to find.
Brewery Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout
I just had this beer last week and I’m really happy that I did! Like the Sam Adams, this beer is only made for a limited time. I think it might only be available in January and February actually, so you better get moving if you want to get any!
Going to my recent review of the Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence, I noted that “The Chocolate Indulgence has a primarily chocolaty flavor, but what’s nice about it is that is isn’t runaway sweet. Its like that semi-sweet chocolate that’s used for baking, but the chocolate is there. I also noticed a nicely balanced bitterness that especially comes through in the finish, and what a nice aftertaste. Lingering mellow chocolate with a little bit of that warming that lets you know this beer is still 7% ABV.”
Although this also got a predictable 4 star review from me, I think if I had to choose only one of the three chocolate beers I’ve listed for you, this would be the one. I think the semi-sweet nature of the chocolate flavors were a little bit more satisfying to me, but we’re obviously splitting hairs here. All are fine choices.
The Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence however, gets the most style points. Its a true Belgian-style ale, so whereas the other beers had pop-tops of varying fanciness, this beer has a cork and cage which is meant to better contain the pressures within. In addition, when this beer is opened, there is an audible ‘pop’, which is a very nice touch, especially if you’re trying to impress.
So there you have it. Three good suggestions for a nice beer to try on Valentines day instead of the usual fare. Grab yourself some quality chocolate candy and you’re going to be just fine.
What about you? Ever bring home or suggest a special beer to celebrate Valentines Day instead of the typical wine and roses?