June 30th: Hotel Chocolat Hot Shots
Fathers day last week didn't pass without the old man being the lucky recipient of another selection box courtesy of my pals at Hotel Chocolat. Given his partialness for the odd whisky truffle I thought that he would appreciate these Hotel Chocolat Hot Shots - a selection comprised of milk and dark chocolate truffles with 'hints of whisky, rum and cognac'. Remembering back to my review of Hotel Chocolat's Summer Cocktails I recall not being overly fond at the vicious nature of the liqueurs involved there, which I guess is why the folks at Hotel Chocolat were a little surprised when I requested these. Unlike last time though I felt that the boozy nature of the truffles were communicated better and thus felt more prepared.
I really liked the presentation of this product as the packaging immediately caught my eye with its sophisticated look. The chocolates were sealed first by a thick cardboard sleeve and then a cardboard box in which they were protected by several layers of paper and film - a handy booklet was also included to tell the truffles apart. All this packaging meant that the truffles themselves were kept in A-grade condition and I was further enticed when I was met with a wonderful array of chocolaty smells.
Below are my thoughts on each of the three different truffles:
This chocolate was formed of a 40% milk chocolate outer shell with a cognac hinted milk chocolate centre. The outer milk chocolate established some familiar cream based cocoa flavours with a thick smooth melt. The inner filling felt delightfully soft on the tongue with just a little bit more moistness and further enhanced the breadth of the chocolate hit before delivering the cognac chiefly in the later stages of the taste. Personally I found the cognac a little too strong and startling to the taste and possibly just a little too bitter. The cognac flavours were the least lasting out of the three and probably the one I would substitute out given the chance. Standard.
St Lucian Rum:
This was definitely my favourite out of the selection and combined a 74% outer dark chocolate with a St Lucian Rum infused centre. Unlike the cognac truffle I thought both the liqueur and the chocolate worked in tandem well and enjoyed how one complimented the other. The flavours of the outer dark chocolate were focused primarily on delivering the chocolate hit to the product and did so with a fine depth of strength with its cocoa flavours. The inner filling was nicely hinted the rum which I felt had a far smoother implementation that the other two in the selection. The flavours were boozy and had a nice fruity edge that gave the truffle a bit of sweetness. Excellent.
Highland Single Malt Whisky:
I felt lucky to even get to try one of these as they were definitely my old mans favourite and were gone within a flash. Like the cognac truffle this one had an outer layer of 40% milk chocolate but contained a malt whisky hinted centre. The same fantastic creamy chocolate influences were established by the milk chocolate and transcended almost identically into the softer truffle filling. I must say I much preferred this whisky truffle over the cognac as I found the taste far more smoother and didn't quite have the shocking nature that the previously mentioned delivered. The booze flavour hit was very much there but far kinder in its implementation and the malt flavours lingered longer in the mouth leaving a greater lasting impression. Very Good.
Overall these were a fine set of liqueur truffles and were far more to my taste than the Summer Cocktails. The liqueur hits were still as strong in these but I was expecting them far more given the nature of the branding and information on the box. The St Lucian Rum truffle was my personal favourite though I must admit I was equally as happy tucking into one of the Malt Whisky ones. I liked the Cognac truffles for their chocolate but was less impressed with the throat burning liqueur hit that was delivered at the end of the taste. It is unfortunate I didn't get to review these before Fathers Day as I would have said they would have made a great gift. At the same time though I think these would be a suitable present all year round so I would recommend them to anyone who likes their boozie chocolates.
8.6 out of 10