Picture it – the lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, Earth, Wind and Fire or maybe some Barry White is emanating throughout the room; it’s Valentine’s Day and the chocolate covered strawberries have already been nibbled, the long stem roses are in water. You reach for something bubbly, but it’s not champagne or red wine, it’s a different adult libation to help set the mood, a Black New England IPA called seXPAnther.

Or as Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana says in Anchorman, “It’s called Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries. Yep, it’s made with bits of real panther. So you know it’s good. They’ve done studies you know. 60% of the time, it works, every time.”

This sexy little number will be released at 12 Gates Brewing on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at 4pm. The beer will also be available in Woodcock’s taproom as well.

seXPAnther is the brainchild of 12 Gates Head Brewer Scott Shuler and Woodcock Brothers Head Brewer Matt Redpath, who were looking for a unique new project to partner on, one that would pair well with quoting Anchorman and roaring like a panther while pawing the air. And in all honesty, isn’t that what we are all looking for?

“seXPAnther has been an ongoing conversation with Matt [Redpath],” Shuler says. “We wanted to brew something fun, unique, and expressive. The timing worked out for a Valentine’s Day release so we played off the holiday. And Matt and I love quoting lines from movies and emulating wild animals.”

The crux of the beer was to combine Woodcock’s XPA series with black IPA’s that Shuler enjoys brewing into relatively new style, Black New England IPA.

“It came up as a joke when we watched that scene out of Anchorman,” Redpath adds. “I always thought it would be a great name for a beer and began envisioning what seXPAnther would look like as a beer. We had joke of using XPA in seXPA and doing the collab, but when he texted me to do the seXPA collab, immediately I saw Panther. So I responded about doing seXPAnther and we began brainstorming the recipe.”

While black IPA’s lend themselves to dark malts, big hops and more roast, NEIPA’s are more fruit forward leaning towards juicier flavors. Redpath says he always envisioned this beer as a truly hoppy one and made sure that each hop that went into the kettle served a purpose. They even added in some sugar to punch it up a bit.

“I [always] envisioned it as a hoppy beer,” Redpath says. “The first hop that came to me immediately was Summit, for its pungent catty profile. We decided on Summit, Mosaic and Citra. Summit for its catty essence, Citra and Mosaic for their muskiness that they exude. The idea evolved into a Black IPA because it is a panther. However, we wanted it to be strong, so it had to be higher alcohol. We decided to throw dextrose sugar in the kettle to give it a nice high octane and maybe a little fusel to give some heat, like a seXPAnther should be. In the end, we’re hoping for a catty musky high octane seXPAnther, hoping that it will tingle the nostrils and water your eyes.”

“We are shooting for 8.0% ABV, 69 IBU, and 60% of the time it works every time,” Shuler quips.

“Hopefully, it won’t taste like bigfoots dick or a burnt hair on a turd,” Redpath jokes.

So, come this Valentine’s Day, remember the name – seXPAnther. And no, it does not smell like pure gasoline, a used diaper filled with Indian food, a turd covered in burnt hair or even Bigfoot’s dick. We can promise you that. So, this Valentine’s Day, don’t reach for a pint of London Gentleman, or Blackbird’s Delight – reach for an ice cold seXPAnther.

For more information on the seXPAnther release, visit the event page. 12 Gates will also be serving be serving 10oz. pours of the beer paired with 4 samples of Antoinette’s Sweets Chocolates for $6.90.

Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at buffalobeerleague@aol.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.