By Iron Chef Leftovers
Chocolate and beer is a great combination if done correctly, otherwise you end up with a sweet mess that is neither good chocolate or good beer. I think that the best chocolate beers are the ones that use either really high percentage dark chocolate or cocoa nibs, since you get all of the complex flavors of the chocolate (and the beer) without adding much in the way of sugar. Terrapin, a brewery out of Athens, GA, does this, adding nibs and shells from a wonderful small chocolate maker out of Nashville, TN, Olive & Sinclair (these guys are really great, I highly recommend trying their stuff), to produce their one of their seasonal offerings – Moo Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout. The beer is not available in the Seattle market, but intrepid internet searchers can find it and have it shipped.
The stats from Terrapin’s Website:
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Flaked Oat, Crystal 85,Chocolate, DH Carafa III, Roasted Barley
Hops: Nugget, Willamette
Other: Olive & Sinclair Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa Shells, Lactose
The beer pours jet black with a light brown head. Cocoa nibs, malt, roast, chocolate and light vanilla all appear on the nose. The beer drinks lighter than you might expect, starting off with a light malty sweetness before moving into deeper flavors of roast and cocoa nibs with an ever so slight bitter bite (think really high percentage dark chocolate). The beer then moves to a more classic chocolate profile with long dark chocolate bar and vanilla notes before finishing with a creamy, chocolate-like finish in both taste and texture – it reminded me of the mouth feel of melting chocolate. The finish is long, lingering and pleasant and more of the fruity notes of the chocolate begin to show on the finish as the beer warms. Not as chocolate forward as many chocolate beers but well balanced and layered with the complexity of a well-made chocolate bar, allowing you to appreciate both the chocolate and beer notes.
Terrapin Brewing’s Moo Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout comes in from the pasture with a perfect 5 bovines out of 5.