Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is here. We’ve got a few recommendations for you of truly delectable selections that we’re deeming “sexy” beers. A very informal poll on Twitter last night showed that most people think stouts are the sexiest style, with those including chocolate mentioned most, but we’re taking another road. Here are six non-stout beers from around the world we think you should try with your significant other (or even alone) tonight. It’s sexy time!
SCHNEIDER Vintage Aventinus (Germany)
This wheat doppelbock is rich, roasty, and nutty. Dark, with a thick, creamy mouthfeel, it’s great on its own, even better with food. (Plus, it rhymes with Valentinus, the Christian martyr for whom Valentine’s Day is named.) Brewery description: “Dark-ruby colored wheat doppelbock with a creamy fine head. Strong notes of ripe bananas, raisins and plums meet liquorice and roasty aromas. Full-bodied and warming, with a well-balanced and smooth finish. The ideal companion for hearty roast meat, venison and also fruity chocolate desserts, ‘Kaiserschmarrn’ (pancakes), ‘Elisenlebkuchen’ (christmas cookies) or bleu cheese. Oldest wheat doppelbock of Bavaria. Since 1907.” Try the cave-aged version for a special treat! [8.2% abv]
DEL DUCATO L’Ultima Luna (Italy)
This beer is more like an apertif or digestif. Luscious, thick barleywine “matured for at least nine months in French oak barrels, which previously contained Italian red wine. Copper colored with reddish tints and extraordinarily rich and complex in the nose, it releases aromas of red fruits (cherries, currants) and vanilla, with hints of wild berries, and it is reminiscent of a fine wine with a warm-bodied mouth feel and little carbonation.” [13.0% abv]
ALMOND 22 Torbata (Italy)
We love scotch. Scotch, scotch, scotch. Such a treat this beer is, truly! A peat-smoked barleywine with heavy scotch notes? Brewery description: “This ale was inspired by the passion for peaty single malt whisky and, in fact, the beer is brewed with the same peated malt usually used for whisky. Torbata is an eccentric interpretation of the barleywine genre, it has been embraced by beer connoisseurs increasingly open and ready to explore new beers. Typical peat aromas are followed by nice fruity notes, from the chestnut honey, and finally the hops that bring together the caramel and toasted malt notes. Enjoy with a good cigar or dark chocolate.” Yes, yes, yes! [8.7% abv]
FANTOME Black Ghost (Belgium)
A beautiful, dark saison with the addition of spices. All the characteristics of a saison with darker malts. This beer used to be more like a stout, actually, but has been evolving over the years. Excellent with a fine cheese plate. [8.0% abv]
KASTEEL Rouge (Belgium)
Forget the chocolate-covered cherries. Drink them! The beautiful red color in Kasteel Rouge comes from Kasteel Brune that has been left to mature for at least six months with sour cherries. Brewery description: “Pouring a deep black cherry color with a small reddish and velvety head, this Rouge’s nose is one of nutty yeasty milk chocolate. One sip reveals myriad cherry flavors, buttressed with spice, bitterness, but not overpowered by carbonation. The perfect balance of ripe cherry fruits, bready malts and essential zest and spice, this beer will surely render your favorite fruit dessert obsolete.” [8.0% abv]
UINTA Crooked Line Series: Labyrinth Black Ale (US)
Straight out of Utah, comes this very unique black ale with licorice/anise. (It was also award the Silver Medal at the 2011 European Beer Star Awards.) Pitch black opaque ale aged on rye barrels with a dash of licorice. Very warming and great for sipping. Brewery description: “Enter the Labyrinth, a multi-dimensional black ale. Discover the complex intermingling of black licorice and toasted oak. Seek the subtle hints of bittersweet chocolate. Explore pairing Labyrinth with flavorful cheeses and rich desserts.” [13.2% abv]
Okay, we lied. We’re including this one stout from Epic New Zealand, because it’s bonkers delicious and you need to try it. Very, very limited!
EPIC Epicurean Coffee & Fig (New Zealand)
Just released and just arrived last Friday. A super sexy beer! We’re not gonna give you more than the description on the bottle, because that will be enough. Brewery description: “Luscious oatmeal stout brewed with barbeque-caramelized Turkish Lerida figs & matured on wet process Ethiopian Sidamo coffee.” Holy. Crap. (Read this review on BeerNation.co.nz about this new beer.) The treat of treats! [8.0% abv]
Happy beer drinking on this Valentine’s Day! Will you be our Valentine?