How fitting that the last review of the year should be a Hotel Chocolat product!? Having never even tried a Hotel Chocolat product before this year, I sure am pleased to have now tried a good deal of their range this year - long may it continue! This is a bit of a cheeky review as these Champagne truffles were actually meant to be gifted this Christmas, but sadly they didn't survive sitting around my University dorm until I got home - shame on me! I have reviewed these as one as I didn't personally perceive too much of a difference between the two variants.
I bought these truffles in packs of eight, which although a little pricey would have made fantastic gifts if they had made it that far haha! The outer packaging for both was quite cute. The outer boxes radiated the usual Hotel Chocolat class, whilst the inner packaging included plastic trays, paper protective layers and branded thin plastic sheaths. In the picture above the slightly darker coloured truffle was the 'Pink Champagne' variant (on the left), whilst the 'Original Champagne' were slightly lighter in colour and contained a greater layer of fine sugar on the outside. Both truffles radiated nice smells, which were predominately cocoa led but had slight hints of alcohol.
I won't beat around the bush, these were tremendous truffles. The outer milk chocolate layers were thick and provided a nice crispness to the texture. The outer dusting sugar didn't distract from the milky, cocoa flavours from the chocolate that seemed to grow in intensity as the melt progressed. What I particularly liked about these truffles was that the boozy flavours of the centres didn't invade the taste of the outer chocolate, so the flavours of the truffles showed real progression. As I have said above there was very little difference between the taste of the two variants, though the 'Pink Champagne' truffles did seem to have a slightly more tart, stronger champagne influence. The truffles centres were nowhere near the smoothness of Lindt Lindors, but had a rather more viscous dexterity. To be honest I found this a nice change, and the denser texture meant that the flavours lasted longer in the mouth. The strength of the centres were really quite strong for alcoholic chocolates, though the creamy flavours of the chocolate meant they never became over dominating. These were rich truffles, and two at a time provided a nice little treat.
Overall it is a bit of a shame I never got to give these away as gifts, as I am sure they would have put a smile or two on the receivers faces. Those who enjoy their liqueur truffles will really enjoy these. The chocolate as ever was of a superb quality, and the centres supplied some longing, strong boozy flavours. For my money there is very little difference between the two variants, though I am sure the 'Pink Champagne' truffles will prove very popular with the females.
8.4 out of 10
I would like to take this opportunity to everyone who has contributed to the site so far. It is amazing how the site has grown since its creation. Tomorrow will mark the sites 1st Birthday! I have been a little busy as of late, but do not fear a competition with a load of goodies will be arranged very soon. So anyway ... thanks again and I hope you continue to enjoy the site as I enter the 2nd year of trying to find 'the best chocolate bar in the world'.