I <3 beer… and you!

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First Posted: 2/11/2014

Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated with a fine evening of food, chocolates, and wine. However, we need to re-examine this tradition and really look at the beer offerings available to us, ones that will not only pair better with that box of chocolates, but may even be rich and chocolaty enough to replace them altogether. 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. Chocolate Love Stout – Yard’s Brewing Company: Many of us are familiar with Yard’s incredibly smooth and highly enjoyable Love Stout; however, every year around Valentine’s Day, Yard’s produces an even more incredibly smooth version: 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, making for a wonderful balance. This is the beer to celebrate the holiday with, but be warned that it is brewed is very limited quantities and may be tough to find.

2. Shake Chocolate Porter – Boulder Beer: 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 for them, but Shake still manages to deliver over-the-top chocolate and is a perfect choice for a dessert beer.

3. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – Wells and Young’s: This is a beer that delivers on its promise of bringing the double chocolate. This stout is very close to being an adult version of a chocolate milkshake, in the best way possible. 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.

4. Flying Mouflan – Troegs Brewing Company: 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 brew 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, so the more age the better.

5. Organic Chocolate Stout – Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery: The Samuel Smith Brewery has built up a reputation for brewing world-class takes on traditional English beers. The brewery’s Organic Chocolate Stout is not only a textbook example of an English sweet stout, it also delivers an over-the-top but very enjoyable chocolate punch. This beer really is like drinking liquid chocolate and is perfect down to the last drop. If your loved one is a chocoholic, this is the beer for them.

Whether you celebrate this holiday alone, with a loved one, or with friends, there is no better reason to pick up some great beers. After all, 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.