Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day, 2014: Young's Double Chocolate Stout w/Lindemans Framboise

Beer's Answer to the Chocolate-Covered Cherry
Paul's Pick: Young's Double Cream Stout combined with Lindemans Framboise
If you were to peruse my profile on it would be enough to make even Fabio blush. Long walks on the beach at sunset, discussing the intricacies of the three tier system over a candlelit dinner, mulling the differences between a porter and a stout while Barry White's soothing tones plays in the background. That's me - an incurable romantic. So let's follow the trail of rose petals to the fridge and see what I exciting elixir awaits us this Valentines Day.

Chocolate and raspberries have long been paired together as a dessert in restaurants and it works great for beer too. I'm going to go for a classic for a sweet stout, Young's Double chocolate stout (Wells and Young's Brewing, Bedford, England) - luxurious and decadent and not too sweet, pour half into a pint watch in wonderment as the beer ebbs and flows and cascades like crashing waves on the shore (sorry, too many Harlequin romance novels) before it settles contentedly in the glass, the nitrogen widget smoothes and mellows any residual sweetness - cocoa and a lingering delectable bitter chocolate remains, resembling a luxurious chocolate milk. I recommend pouring it on your morning corn flakes.

Top with framboise from Lindemans (Vlezenbeek, Belgium). Traditional lambic (spontaneous fermenting beers) brewers since 1812, located SW of Brussels in the Senne Valley, Lindemans were the first lambic exporters to these shores in 1979. The acidity and sourness of the lambic blends perfectly with the addition of the raspberries, leaving a tart, fruity, slightly sour dessert beer that is only 2.5% ABV that I could drink gallons of! Married with the double chocolate stout the resulting concoction is a velvety seduction of chocolate and cocoa balanced nicely with the tartness of ripe fruit.

I chose Young's Double Chocolate Stout for nostalgic reasons (British candy is responsible for my dentist retiring a millionaire) but you can substitute almost any stout - for a bit more oomph try Brooklyn Chocolate Stout (10% ABV), Ommegang Chocolate Seduction, Boulevard Chocolate Ale, or Left Hand Milk Stout (nitro is creamier), anyway you get the idea. Any raspberry lambic works too but Lindemans is the most readily available, and the oldest. One pairing that doesn't work is Creme Brûlée (Southern Tier) with framboise - absolutely revolting, don't know what I was thinking, probably why I'm not a chef.

Thanks for listening, I'm pretty sure America's Most Eligible Bachelor is on the Telly, so I'm off.

Fabio (actually Flabio is more fitting, I drink a lot of beer)

Young's Double Chocolate Stout sells for $9.99/4-pack and Lindemans Framboise is $10.99/750ml.