“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” Oscar Wilde.
I’d like to amend that just a touch, if I may. Updated, if you will, for modern times and thirsty palates. “Never love anyone who treats you to ordinary beer.”
It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend with Mardi Gras’ final day just around the corner. With the parades rolling this Friday and Saturday, partying in excess and the last of the formal dress galas, it’ll take a fairly significant gesture to express one’s love with so much spectacle and distraction happening.
I can already see people’s eyes rolling. “Yeah, right. Here’s where the Beer Guy makes some wispy connection between ideas to try and drag folks into Hopjacks for whatever beer he’s shilling for today. Real romantic!” Well… yeah, I was – am! Chiefly because I know more about beer than love and romance, which in itself is a pretty sad admission.
Self-deprecating humor aside, it’s the implied concept of love and adoration that’s paramount on Valentine’s Day. This year it just so happens to fall on the same day as our local Grand Mardi Gras Parade. It’ll be up to you to decide which takes precedent. Nothing says you can’t have both, but like the knight said in The Last Crusade, “Choose wisely!”
Love takes on many forms. You might love your significant other so you behave as expected and plan for a nice dinner. Perhaps you’re incredibly generous and love to give gifts. There’s certainly the possibility that you – heck, even the both of you – share a love for the finer things in life. Or, you can wind up a difficult to get along with old sod like me with an unquenchable love of beer. Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Express your l’amour for the beer enthusiast in your life by splurging for a rare bottle of Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel. This year marks the 8th release of their Bishop’s Barrel Series and everything about it screams sexy ingredients and love of the craft. Aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels, this Russian Imperial Stout is made in very small quantity so it’s extremely difficult to come by. The base beer was originally brewed in November 2013, racked into the Bourbon barrels December of that year and bottled for final conditioning just under two months ago!
Small wonder this beer carries a fairly sizeable price tag, but it’s far less than three month’s salary. Ultra-black with the barest hint of ruby at the edges, Bishop 8 sports a tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Sensuous scents of Bourbon glide above the dark chocolate and espresso with notes of vanilla, oak and caramel. Wherever the hefty 11.5% ABV went is a mystery as there’s only minimal heat noticeable. That Woodford Reserve shows up on the palate like a liquid love poem with touches of leather, honey and butterscotch swirling around the deep-roast malt.
A lot of love went into the making of this stout. Show your best friend the same and grab one of these while you can. Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed!