October 30th: Hotel Chocolat The Autumn Sleekster Selection

The leaves may have turned brown and the cold, wet nights settled in but there is no reason to despair! You can feast your eyes upon this Hotel Chocolat The Autumn Sleekster Selection - an autumnal themed collection of wonderful chocolates from one of our most loved British chocolate brands.

Indeed no Hotel Chocolat seasonal sampling package would be complete without us getting to try the limited edition chocolate selection they create. Hotel Chocolat sent us this 28 count (310.0g) Autumn chocolate collection just last week and no second invitations were required to get the team into reviewing action. Hotel Chocolat have recently adopted a new style for their Sleekster boxes and the sky blue, brown colour choices were unanimously well liked. Inside the 28 chocolates came in 13 different varieties - some classic Hotel Chocolat's pieces and some all new Autumnal season offerings. As you will see below the variety of the selection was just fantastic featuring a wide range of different flavours and quirky designs.

The presentation was fantastic but lets get too the important stuff ...(working-left-to-right)

The first three we sampled were the Sloe Gin Truffles, Treacle Tarts and Mulled Ports pieces. Both the Port and Gin offerings were very strong and had devilish, warming boozie kicks to their fruity chocolate base flavours. The orange zestyness of the Mulled Ports were especially well regarded. The middle piece Treacle Tart was a very fine chocolate combining a runny caramel and molases centre and crunchy shortbread biscuit. It was too sweet for some but Jim was more than happy seeing these away.

This was the first time the team had encountered the Pistachio Praline Crunches and they went down a storm. The salty pistachio elements mixed with a touch of cherry and rose fruityness were incredibly unique and totally delicious. The Irish Whiskey and Cream Truffles and Egg and Brandy Truffles were both alcohol fueled vanilla creme offerings - both deliverving their promised spirit flavours but for some just a too little strongly flavoured to thoroughly enjoy the quality of the chocolates on offer.

The outer pieces you see above were the Blackcurrant Bombes and Blackberry Truffles. The centres both similarly offered rich, creamy red berry experiences though the two different chocolate types nicely gave them differentiated and unique initial chocolate flavour hits. In the middle you see one of Hotel Chocolat's classics the Burnt Caramels. These were instantly sort after combining outstanding dark chocolate and buttery, burnt sugar notes within the soft caramel centre.

On the left you see the most beautifully crafted piece in the selection - the Milk Praline Acorns. These were not only stunning on the eye but absolutely sensational with their woody hazelnut praline. The Apple Strudel and Salted Praline & Caramels were pieces borrowed from previous selections but were most welcome in their return. The Apple Strudel were delightfully enhanced with a mild cinnamon spice lick that gave the real apple flavours added depth. Nothing need be said about the Salted Praline & Caramels - a simply stunning classic Hotel Chocolat truffle combining an uber slick, buttery almond praline layer with a sweet, luxurious caramel topping - EPIC!

Last but not least ... :-) The uber UBER cute Pumpkin Praline. Just look at the detail and care put into the crafting of this chocolate. Attractive on the eye and offering a salty nut praline centre within it's thick outer chocolate. All the guilt of eating such a beautiful chocolate was soon lost in the classyness of the taste.

Overall this Hotel Chocolat The Autumn Sleekster Selection was a real standout box of chocolate; however we would invite you to take some considerations into account before purchasing. The selection has been designed with chocolate nut and booze lovers in mind. Whilst it containes plenty of differentiated offerings in terms of types of nuts, spirit and fruits used to offer wider variety, those who don't find those type of chocolates preferable will get little enjoyment from what is on offer here. If you are anything like us here @ChocMission then this wont be a problem. The selection is beautifully presented and the Autumn season theme is incorporated seamlessly in both presentation and flavours on offer. We suggest you get involved before the Autumn turns to Winter!

8.4 out of 10