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Column: Treat your palate with this chocolatey brew from Terrapin
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Terrapin Beer Co.'s Moo-Hoo Chocolate Stout offers a sweet, rich approachable brew for any type of beer drinker. - photo by Kelsey Podo

I’m a firm believer that most skills can be learned. 

No, you’re not going to become the next Michael Jordan if you devote years to playing basketball. But, with enough dedication, time and patience, you could become halfway decent at the sport.

The same goes for tasting beer. 

I’ve had friends and family say, “You have sensitive taste buds,” or “How can you detect that? It just tastes like beer to me.”

Well, here’s my secret — I’ve trained myself. With each beer I try, I usually jot down the notes I pick up. A lot of it sounds like a bunch of nonsense. 

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Here’s one excerpt from a randomly chosen beer in my notes. This is listed as Sceptre Brewing Arts’ Chaos Magician: “Like crunching on the skins of scuppernongs. Hoppy aftertaste. Dry finish with the sweetness still there, almost like honey.”

By deliberately looking for flavors in beer each time I crack one open, I’ve developed a habit, one that now happens subconsciously when I not only drink beer, but eat food. 

When I first started drinking beer, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between a lager and a hefeweizen. Because of repetitively tasting brews, I’ve developed enough skills to detect certain types of hops and strains of yeast. Of course I’m no pro, but I’m getting better with each beer.

And if you’re having trouble figuring out the flavor you’re picking up in a beer, I recommend either reading the can for any “flavor text” or looking it up on Untappd

Anyway, enough with my rant. Let’s talk about this week’s beer. 

Terrapin Beer Co.’s Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout has been around for quite some time, but for some inconceivable reason, I’ve never tried it. 

As a kid, my dad would sometimes treat my brother and me before school to a biscuit at the Golden Pantry and a bottle of Yoo-hoo. Seeing a beer slightly reminiscent of my childhood definitely caught my attention. Also, I couldn’t resist a brew that nods to the “Saturday Night Live” skit, “More Cowbell.”

This is the sort of beer that’s not only fun and playful, but ridiculously approachable. I see why it has been a recurring seasonal beer from Terrapin for over five years. 

Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout

Brewery: Terrapin Beer Co. 

Alcohol by volume: 6.1%

Style: Chocolate milk stout

Bottom line: Basically adult chocolate milk

Moo-Hoo offers a rich chocolatey flavor with a whisper of vanilla that made me instantly think of Swiss Miss hot chocolate. When brewing the stout, Terrapin incorporates cocoa nibs and shells into the beer, which are sourced from Nashville-based Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. 

It’s rich, sweet, full-bodied and chocolate-forward without being heavy and overbearing. Usually I reserve stouts for dessert, but this one could easily be paired with a meal. 

If you’re looking for a nice stout to keep you warm this winter, I encourage you to grab a pack of Terrapin’s Moo-Hoo. Those in Hall County can find the beer at Tap it Growlers, located at 1850 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. For more information about this tasty brew, visit terrapinbeer.com.

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