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After last months adventures with Hotel Chocolat's Chocolate Sultanas I today go full circle with HC's enrobed fruit range by taking a look at these Kirsch Cherries. Despite having tried past terrors such as Green & Black's Cherry offering, my more recent foray with Lindt's Amarena Kirsch bar was far more successful so I approached these with a relatively open mind. On the pack these came described as 'Whole de-stoned cherries, softened by a long soaking in kirsch, then enrobed in layers of milk then dark chocolate'. For those of you wondering, Kirsch is a clear, colourless fruit brandy traditionally made from double-distillation of morello cherries' (thanks Wiki!).
Just as with the other products from Hotel Chocolat's enrobed fruit range, these came in a 150.0g tub that contained I would say around 20 or so cherry pieces. Compared to some of the other fruits I have tried the cardboard tub didn't seem to hamper the freshness of the contents, I was pretty amazed by the strength of the fruit, chocolate and booze scents that greeted me when I ripped open the foil seal on top. In regards to aesthetic presentation the choice of colour for the outer packaging was obviously very sensible, and I was similarly impressed by the look of the actual cherries. Each of the pieces seemed very plump in size, whilst the dark chocolate looked relatively fresh considering the slightly scuffed surfaces.
I have to say before tasting these I was pretty intrigued as to how Hotel Chocolat had coated these in both milk and dark chocolate - all soon became apparent. The exterior layer of these cherries were coated with a thick layer of Hotel Chocolat 50% dark chocolate. As you would expect the taste wasn't quite as flavoursome or as rich as some of their stronger recipes, but it generated a decent set of unsweetened cocoa flavours that would later prove pivotal in the overall balance of the taste. Sat below the dark chocolate a thin layer of milk chocolate slowly eased the experience towards a sweeter culmination, though it was the cherry fruit piece that really took centre stage. The cherries were in every bit of the sense wonderful. Biting in to them they were juicy and bursting with a plethora of red berry and brandy flavours. Unlike so many of Hotel Chocolat's alcohol flavoured products the implementation of the Kirsch was fantastic and spot on at allowing the other fruit and chocolate constituents have their share of the taste. As moreish as these were I was more than happy settling for just a handful as a snack - believe it or not for a dark chocolate product but these were at their best when they had been stored in the fridge.
Overall colour me impressed, these were extremely tasty and exceeded all my expectations. As was probably evident by the fact they were the last ones I decided to review, these were not something I was particularly looking forward to reviewing but having just finished my sampling tub I oddly find myself contemplating buying another already which isn't something I often have an urge to do with any product I review. What I liked about these Kirsch Cherries was the way they struck a really fine balance with their sweet and unsweetened flavours. The milk chocolate and cherry fruits delivered all the sugary sweet fruity flavours desired, and were the perfect counter balance for the harsher tasting dark chocolate and liqueur flavours of the brandy. Quite simply I can't recommend these Kirsch Cherries enough for people that enjoy their chocolate coated fruits. Even if you aren't the biggest lover of cherries (like I'm not!), I would suggest you give them a try.
8.4 out of 10