Ever since I first announced that I had managed to build an alliance with Shopenzed in New Zealand I have been receiving e-mails requesting I review some of the Whittaker's range. Although we don't have Whittaker's here in the UK from what I can tell it is a very established brand in the Southern Hemisphere - according to the packaging they have been around since 1896 ... now that is a long time. Given their heritage and praise from ChocolateMission readers I was certainly looking forward to getting stuck into this 72% Cocoa Dark Ghana bar.
Being the kind souls that they are Shopenzed sent me across a quite huge 250.0g bar. Straight away I was drawn in by the look of the packaging. It had a retro looking gold theme that I thought encapsulated both style and diversity - it really gave the product a premium look. The beauty of this product didn't just stop at the wrapper; below that layer the chocolate was wonderfully maintained in a thick golden foil wrapper. The foil layer not only sealed in the fantastically fragrant cocoa smells, but also made sure that the blocks were unblemished and in tip-top condition.
The whole 250.0g took a while to get through even with some keen family members helping me along the way (how very kind of them eh!?). The bar itself was split into well sized blocks that were perfect for eating one at a time. Just as the strong cocoa scents indicated the flavours of the bar were certainly forthcoming - this wasn't a chocolate that needed any sort of warming up in the mouth before the true flavours were revealed. The initial part of the taste was elegant and smooth with the predominantly dairy based flavours ebbing and flowing with the smooth melt. As the melt of the chocolate progressed from its early stages the raw cocoa flavours started coming to life more and presented themselves delightfully providing a rich tasting chocolaty flavour hit. Despite the cocoa being really quite strong the taste never flirted with the possibility of becoming bitter. The taste experience was smooth throughout its progression and just simply delicious - I guess this must have been largelly down to the plentiful cocoa butter in the chocolate.
Overall this is up there with some of the best dark chocolates I have had. It didn't quite deliver on the same playing field as the Hotel Chocolat 85% but I have to say it wouldn't be far off if it just had a tad greater thickness in its melt and possibly just another dimension in its aftertaste (vanilla maybe!?). This was a bar that I was really disappointed to finish - to put it another way if someone told me that this was the only chocolate I could eat for the rest of my life I probably wouldn't be all that disappointed. Having tried so many dark chocolates over the last two years for one to really stand out it has to be something rather special. For me this stood out as a wonderful dark chocolate and is one that I would suggest you try for yourself if your a fan of this sector of the market.
9.0 out of 10