Today I tried my second slab from the Hotel Chocolat Christmas 'Peepster Box', the 'Christmas Chimes'. This slab included a solid base of 74% dark chocolate with a rather familiar looking milk chocolate bell placed in the middle (see Hotel Chocolat Bells & Baubles!!). It isn't all that often you see dark and milk chocolate combinations - I certainly haven't had a Hotel Chocolat mix of the two, so this was a new experience for me.
I will reiterate again my slight disappointment at the lack of a Christmas theme implemented on the design of the box and packaging for the product. It just seemed a bit daft going to all the effort of making the actual slab itself look quite festive, but forgetting to do the same to the packaging. As I described in the Hotel Chocolat Bells & Baubles review the bell shape had a lot of detail crafted into its surface - it looked just as impressive implemented in this slab. The smell of the slab was just fantastic. As soon as I opened the plastic package familiar cocoa scents emerged filling my anticipation once again for another Hotel Chocolat indulgence.
I ate this offering much the same way as I ate the 'Heavenly Holly' slab - breaking off all the chocolate around the middle and then indulging on the centrepiece. The story of this slab was that individually the 74% dark chocolate and 40% milk chocolate were superb, but unfortunately together they didn't quite deliver the 'finale' I was hoping for. The 74% dark chocolate delivered all its usual fantastic flavours, it had an immensely rich cocoa taste that had elements of coffee and dark fruits prevalent throughout. I ate this slab over two very satisfying servings. At the end of the second serving I finished the slab off eating the milk chocolate bell. When eaten in isolation it delivered some fantastic creamy, cocoa flavours, however when eaten in tandem with the base it was largely dominated by the fuller flavoured dark chocolate and only managed to oddly sweeten the overall taste. Despite the lacklustre 'finale' the slab was largely very enjoyable.
Overall we all knew before that both the Hotel Chocolat 74% and Hotel Chocolat 40% were individually fantastic, what we additionally know now though is that together they aren't the best mix. The dark chocolate delivered its usual full flavoured, rich taste and really provided a fantastic base chocolate. The milk chocolate bell was equally as enjoyable providing a sweet, creamier chocolate. Unlike the white and milk chocolate in the 'Heavenly Holly', the mixture of the milk and the dark didn't quite provide the desired finish to the slab. Despite this minor disappointment, this was still chocolate of the highest quality - another highly enjoyable offering from the Christmas 'Peepster Box'.
8.6 out of 10