December 7th: Artisan du Chocolat O Magic Collection
If you thought Artisan du Chocolat were content with showcasing just the one Christmas 2011 offering this year on JCM you better think again because today we have this 'O Magic Collection' giving our tried and and tested rating system a run for it's money. Yes indeed, following on from my review last week of their 'Christmas Chocolate Pudding' truffles (See HERE), this 'limited edition twenty piece box of dark, milk and white chocolate O discs filled with seasonal coulis' was also sent my way from Artisan. With the 'Old Man' on photo duty, and my Mother providing her "expert opinion" :D we today embarked upon our latest Artisan du Chocolat festive experience.
As described above this was a box of chocolates that contained twenty disc shaped chocolates weighing 130.0g and retailing online for £15.00 (See HERE). Last week we were all falling over ourselves lauding Artisan with praise for the quality of their presentation. I hope you will agree that once again this level of appreciation should be merited to them again with this 'O Magic Collection' as it was every bit as beautiful. If you look at the Old Man's photography you will be able to see the level of care they went to once again here. The outer box was wonderfully decorative in it's detail and the chocolates had some of the most intricate pattern and design work I've ever seen on any chocolates before. Just look and admire.
Within this special collection, Artisan were offered five different flavours: apple and cider, red current, Champagne, whisky and cherries and spiced wine. Contained within various different chocolate types depending on their suitability e.g. red current with white chocolate, these flavours were all well matched and I think the total package was much better for having white, milk and dark options rather than just designating all to just the one type. As you can see in the photos the discs were thin in stature and broke with a distinct snap sound that reassured me of the fresh ingredients. The extremely smooth melt of the chocolate and cool sensation of the coulis created a luxurious mouth feel which only further substantiated the sense this was a premium chocolate product. Thankfully this was all matched by the flavours offered by the majority of the different flavours, with the only partial disappointment coming in the form of the underpowered whisky offering. That flavour aside, the fruit flavours were terrific and created sweet, real tasting, tarty/zingy fruit experiences that contrasted perfectly with their sweet milk and white chocolates shells. For such thin, elegant chocolates we were all surprised at the volume of flavour each delivered - perhaps we shouldn't have been given past experiences. If we had to pick-out a stand out flavour, the champagne offering came in for particular praise from my Mother who instantly expressed her delight with a resounding 'wow'.
Overall this Artisan du Chocolat O Magic Collection has to go down as one of the best things I have tried whilst doing all my reviews for Christmas 2011. Everything about the total package, from the way it was presented, to the taste of the actual chocolates again just felt like it was done with a touch of class. This box of chocolates successfully managed to give me that feeling that I was lucky to be reviewing these for the site, and that every chocolate I was sampling from the box was an exciting and potentially delicious prospect. Speaking as someone who tries their fair share of chocolate (understatement of the century) this has to be regarded as no mean feat. Artisan du Chocolat O Magic Collection offers a festive themed flavour experience that I would recommend to anyone who appreciates good quality chocolate. The bonus of it all is that the package is presented in a near perfect form. A purchase of these for yourself or a significant other wouldn't be a decision resulting in regret.
8.5 out of 10