Valentine’s Day is mistakenly thought of as merely a commercial “Hallmark” holiday, but it’s reportedly been recognized since 496 AD. It’s a day to celebrate love and the feelings for that “special someone” whether your time together has been 8 days, 8 months, 8 years, or 8 decades.
Famous couples throughout the ages have found their way into the hearts of people worldwide: from Romeo and Juliet and Lancelot and Guinevere, to Fred and Ginger and Ricky and Lucy, to Rachel and Ross, and Brad and Angelina, certain couples seemingly fit perfectly together. Their chemistry and attraction is quite obvious, reminding the unattached that there’s someone perfect for them out there.
Cards, candy and flowers are, of course, traditional Valentine’s gifts. Chocolate and berries (usually strawberries) are also commonly given and complement each other, much like those famous pairs.
But beer makes a unique and tasty gift on this romantic holiday. Last Valentine’s Day we paired a decadent Rogue Chocolate Stout with the sugary raspberry flavors of St. Louis Premium Framboise Lambic (see last year’s article). This year we explore a pair of aphrodisiacs released by a respected Cooperstown, NY brewery.
Brewery Ommegang, known for their upscale Belgian style ales, has released two Valentine’s Day appropriate brews to mark this special occasion. For both, a wire-wrapped, bubbly-style cork sits atop an attractive foil multicolored bottle.
Aphrodite, a feminine, mysterious beer named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty was impossible to take our eyes off of. She was absolutely gorgeous in the glass-dark crimson in color with plum highlights. A bright white head of foam rises to the top, much like the goddess arose from the sea. Alluring scents of sparkling brut and raspberries entrance the nose leaving the taste buds yearning in anticipation. Interesting tart flavors (due to brett yeast) begin the odyssey and reveal her Belgian origin. Subtle raspberry notes follow and the smooth bodied elixir finishes slightly sour with a little bitterness. Some heat from the alcohol can be felt at the end of this potent 8.9% ABV ale. Very dry throughout, it’s the complete opposite of those über sweet Framboise and Kriek lambics. Overall, an irresistible love potion for champagne-loving beer connoisseurs, with a muted berry twist.
Seduction, a sexy, exotic Porter, intertwines two sinful romantic pleasures. An international star, it boasts cocoa from Chocolatier Callebaut combined with a delicious cherry infusion of Liefmans Cuvee Brut Kriek. Deep brown in color, it smells of fruit and cocoa. This 6.8% ABV ale is slightly tart initially then a pleasurable wave of complex black and coffee malts caress and satisfy the palate. Cherry cordial flavors follow and interlace with the rich malts. On the finish, they’re joined by elegant dark chocolate and roasted malt for a luscious flavor climax.
Seduction is dark and dry like Aphrodite but plush, indulgent, and refined. Both Seduction and Aphrodite pair well with sweet Valentine’s Day treats and, of course, each other.