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10 chocolate beers to drink now

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Saturday saw the annual release (and sell-out) of what is safe to call the beer world’s favorite chocolate beer, Foothills Brewing’s Sexual Chocolate imperial stout. But it’s not the only player in the cocoa game, particularly in the uberchocolaty month of February. Here are the pours to look for now.

DuClaw Cocoa Retribution and Cocoa Vanilla Retribution: The brewery unleashed these Ravens-inspired beers yesterday; if there are any drops left, you can try to score them at the brewery. Cocoa Retribution is an imperial stout that aged 6 months with cocoa nibs in bourbon barrels; the vanilla version had beans added to the barrel.

Fat Heads Oompa Loompa Chocolate Cream Stout: The brewery debuts this brand-new stout any day now in bottles and on tap (though, sadly, only in Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania). It’s brewed with Belgian dark chocolate and balanced with a bit of vanilla bean.

SanTan Sex Panther 2013: Colonial Rosewood Cocoa and chocolate malts totally choco-ize this 6.9%-ABV porter, available on tap and in cans; a bit of wheat in the brew softens the mouthfeel.

Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence: Belgian yeast gives this brew—kind’ve a chocolate stout/Belgian dark strong hybrid—a dark-fruit kick. A 7% ABV smooths out the swallow.

BridgePort Bear Hug Cherry Chocolate Stout: This new release (both kegged and bottled) features chocolate and roasted malts in a 7.5%-ABV stout, plus 15 pounds of dark cherries per barrel.

Sixpoint 3Beans: This 10%-ABV canned dark ale is one of the most creative releases of 2013 thus far: Romano beans bulk up the body, cocoa bean husks lend chocolate notes, and a blend of cold-brewed coffee gives the beer classic java flavor.

Charleville Box of Chocolate: This bottled 10.5%-ABV Belgian-style quad’s the ultimate aperitif: The aroma simply oozes chocolate, and on the tongue, it’s a dead ringer for liqueur truffles.

Penn Chocolate Meltdown Stout: Pennsylvania Brewing’s latest release is a bottled chocolate milk stout brewed with real chocolate, plus a bit of lactose for a chocolate milk silkiness.

Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout: This chocolate-flavored import’s down-right sessionable at 5.0% ABV—and perfect for the date who eats strictly organic.

Rogue Chocolate Stout and Double Chocolate Stout: A dose of oats in these brews softens the mouthfeel of this always-available chocolate beer; the double version has a bit of honey. Both bottles are dressed in a limited-edition Valentine’s Day red for the holiday.

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