Southern Tier Imperial “Choklat” Stout, a Valentines Day Treat

Today is Valentines Day, and single or paired, a fantastic excuse to drink a good beer is at hand. If celebrating this Hallmark holiday, think twice before rushing to the drug store to frantically grab that last dusty box of chocolates. This year, why not consider buying your sweetie chocolate in liquid form?

I’ve been bombarded with chocolatey beer options this past week. In Pittsburgh, we are truly lucky to have several local breweries providing options (East End Brewery’s Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout and Penn Brewery’s Chocolate Meltdown Stout come to mind). One of my favorite breweries, Southern Tier, has a chocolate-inspired selection, and since they brew my favorite beer of all time (Southern Tier Pumking) I was excited to try it.

Southern Tier Choklat, available as a draft and in 22oz bottles, is best served slightly warmer than your average beer (48 degrees) in a snifter glass. It is a very pretty, romantic looking beer, pouring almost black with very small caramel colored head ringing the glass. The aroma coming off this one is simply one-dimensional….you guessed it….CHOCOLATE! It smells unbelievably chocolate, reminiscent of chocolate syrup (really).

The mouthfeel for Choklat is very smooth, creamy, but not sticky. The upfront taste is roasted chocolate (is that possible?). This taste is quickly followed with the burning, biting flavor you’d expect from a beer with 11%ABV. These are two extremely different tastes butting heads in one glass, and it creates a surprisingly balanced drink.

Overall, the range in tastes from dark chocolate to biting alcohol does not make a particularly drinkable beer, but listen, maybe on Valentines Day you should stop at ONE! It’s much like a very rich chocolate dessert: it’s heartbreakingly delicious, but after one serving you are more than happy to just sit back and bask in a glorious sugar coma.

By Beth Kerr