Monday, 25 August 2008

August 25th: Hotel Chocolat 72% Dark Chocolate

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

It has been way too long since I last had some Hotel Chocolat dark chocolate - it seems like an absolute age since the beggining of July when I reviewed the '72% with orange & chilli' ... a bar I found slightly disappointing for it's lack of delivery from the orange flavour. One thing that didn't let that bar down was the 72% dark chocolate , which I today sampled in isolation from any additional flavours.

I ate these two separate 62.5g slabs over two sittings. I cant say it provided the same amazingly rich satisfying experience of the '85% dark chocolate' but it was certainly fulfilling and enjoyable. The slabs were presented nicely - they didn't have the glitz or glam of the 'Rocky Road' or 'Caramellow', but the clean glossy surface just oozed quality and the bar broke amazingly cleanly with a nice cracking sound. A quality that I have seemed to find common across the whole of the Hotel Chocolat portfolio is that all their slabs smell so wonderfully strong. Opening the packet, I found myself yet again met with a barrage of potent cocoa smells, as always it was massivelly enticing and very indicative of the taste.

There is only one true way to eat dark
chocolate and that is to let simply let it melt on the tongue savouring every last gram of its taste. The strength of the bar was strongly evident from its initial flavour - a deep cocoa flavour literally exploded on my taste buds. As the chocolate rose in temperature and progressed in it's melt, it mellowed into a smoother taste with hints of vanilla and coffee becoming ever increasingly present.

The text
ure of the melt was superbly smooth, though I must say when compared to the '85% dark chocolate' and even to a lesser extent the 'Lindt Excellence 70% dark chocolate', it wasn't quite as thick and viscous ... it was more alike single cream compared to the others double cream like thickness. To call that a criticism would not be appropriate - more an observation, with my own preference with the thicker texture. Im sure there are plenty of people out there who would better appreciate the slightly thinner texture, as they may find the extra thickness overwhelming. Once again I found myself savouring every last bit of both slabs. The aftertaste was long and left a delicous dark cocoa flavour in the mouth for a long time after consumption; acting as a constant reminder of the richly declicious chocolate just experienced.

Overall Im coming to expect nothing else but resounding success each time I sample Hotel Chocolat products, and today was yet another instance where I wasn't let down. This '72% dark chocolate' had a delicious taste that developed during its course in the mouth. It initially sprang an intense cocoa driven experience that developed into a calmer, smoother more friendly vanilla, coffee noted taste. Though I massively enjoyed this bar, when it comes to dark chocolate my allegiances lie elsewhere - purely based on the texture of the chocolate. As I said above I personally preferred the thicker textures of the 'Lindt Excellence 70% dark chocolate' and '85% dark chocolate' - something purely based on personal preference. This wasn't my favourite dark chocolate offering but it was still a massively enjoyable experience of sheer indulgence - highly recommended yet again...did you really expect anything else!?

8.7 out of 10

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