This month, I went to the Bottle King with no plan. I figured I’d see what jumped out at me. Perhaps predictably, it was a name and label that won the day, and I went home with a six pack of Terrapin Moo-Hoo in cans.
True to its name, the beer – which claims to be a chocolate milk stout – tastes almost exactly like Yoo-Hoo. Now, I happen to rather like Yoo-Hoo, so that’s not inherently bad. It’s a good beer, and chocolatey. However, it has its flaws, and so ends up a slightly disappointing, overpriced affair.
First the good: It actually tastes like chocolate. Many chocolate stouts dabble in cocoa. In this beer, Terrapin doesn’t fuck around. The chocolate practically smacks you in the face. Also, it tastes like actual chocolate, not some chemical or poor quality affair (more Ghirardelli than Whitman’s Sampler).
The milk is not so forward, but just as important to the flavor. It adds richness and sweetness to the whole thing and holds it together. Terrapin’s website calls Moo-Hoo “Utterly Delicious,” which is a wonderful pun, but also accurate. The milk is the bedrock the chocolate is built on.
Now, to the weaknesses: Where’s the beer? The beer flavor is so far in the background as to be non-existent. While I recognize that you don’t want powerful flavors to clash, makers of flavored beer should remember that I, the drinker, am looking for a beer, not an actual Yoo-Hoo. If I wanted straight chocolate milk, I could have gotten one.
Similarly, there is a dearth of viscosity in this beer. I frequently feel this way about Yoo-Hoo, too. It’s thin. Too watery for the silky smoothness of the flavor. I would prefer this beer greatly if it had the mouth feel of, say, Oskar Blues’s Old Chub, or Guiness. As it is, the flavor is strong, but the fluid is weak.
Even with all that, the good outweighs the bad. Until you notice that six cans is close to $10. Drop that price $2-3, and I’d line up to buy it. For $9.99, I think I’ll shuffle down the aisle. However, if you’ve got one to share, I’ll gladly take it off your hands. Maybe with a cookie for dunking.