June 12th: Hotel Chocolat Rabot Estate St Lucia 70% Dark

Kcal 195 Fat 13.0g Fat(sats) 8.0g Carbs 18.0g (per 35.0g)

With Fathers Day just a matter of days away we thought we would give you one last tip with a look at one of Hotel Chocolat's latest award winning chocolates. This Hotel Chocolat Rabot Estate St Lucia 70% Dark bar (full name Hotel Chocolat Saint Lucia, Rabot Estate - Single Côte, Marcial, 70% Dark if you are looking it up on the website - HERE) was sent to us as one of the chocolates that the HC team were pushing for the 16th. After recieving an Academy of Chocolate 2013 Silver Award they obviously believe it is one of their finer new offerings and having tasted it for the review today we cant argue with them.

This Hotel Chocolat Rabot Estate St Lucia 70% Dark bar came in a 70.0g package that will set you back a rather costly sounding £7.00 on the website. The packaging is two-fold in it's layering combining a very suave (and detailed!) outer cardboard sleeve, with a nicely matted plastic packet wrapper preserving the chocolate in A-spec condition. Upon opening this packet we were greeted to what was a very shiny chocolate slab that looked and smelt immensely fresh with the glorious cocoa scents that wafted from the wrapper. Fully confirming the freshness of the inner chocolate, it broke apart with a loud crack and with a very clean break.

Three of us split this bar over a mid-afternoon coffee and left each other to make tasting notes to compare after we had tried it. As I'm sure you are aware having peeked at the score already :-P the unaminous decision all-round was that this was a very high quality chocolate that met the sky-high expectations that had been set by previous Hotel Chocolat experiences and award winning certification from the AoC. During our tasting note comparison conversation (which we took ultra seriosuly of course haha!) there was conformity in the deliciousness of the intial flavour generation with the slowish pace of the melt gently introducing a raised amplification of the pure tasting earthy cocoa notes detectable amongst the smooth, milky flavour delivery. During the maturation of the melt several pockets of flavour notes were detectable with the three of us picking up notes of red fruits, red wine, coffee and mild nuts. It was a taste that was never bitter, yet non-sweet; packed full of excitement as it developed through the course of its state transition.

Overall this was a chocolate that came to us with our expectations set sky high and we are glad to report they more than satisfactorly fulfilled them. Hotel Chocolat simply know what they are doing when it comes to their dark chocolates - their 85% house offering has of course been top of the ChocolateMission leaderboard for nearly four years now! Whilst some might think that after five years we would get bored of reviewing these type of offerings from them, we have to congratulate Hotel Chocolat for persistently making a non-issue with the provision of different origin chocolates that constantly offering different flavour experiences everytime we get the chance to try them. As to whether this bar is suitable for Fathers Day or any other gifting occasion will be totally reliant on whether ther person the chocolate is intended for enjoys finer dark chocolates. If the answer is yes then you are on to a winner with this one here.

9.0 out of 10