We may try legitimise this special review feature with that blurb above but truth be told thanks to some very generous sampling from our friends at Hotel Chocolat we had a wonderful time testing out some of their latest new chocolate inclusive drinks products.
500ml - 4.7% Vol
This Cocoa Beer is one of Hotel Chocolat's latest new products and is brewed in Suffolk by Brewshed. The team were lucky enough to receive a few bottles of this and we indulged ourselves with some bottles accompanying a Sunday afternoon beef roast. As you can see from the pictures the dark coloured beer had only a very light fizzyness meaning it was highly drinkable, slipping down a treat with a very nice smoothness. The beer had many qualities of a good quality traditional ale with an initial raft of fresh roasted malt on offer from the early moments in the mouth. The uniqueness of the beer came through in the aftertaste of each mouthful with notes of coffee and tobacco creating an initial minor bitterness. The X-factor came in the form of a very distinctive sweet chocolate hint once swallowed. The chocolateyness was brief and fleeting but it was obvious and left a nice impression in the mouth. We aren't sure of the popularity this will have with traditional ale drinkers but we enjoyed it enough to have it again.
8.3 out of 10
Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Gin
50ml - 42% Vol
Gin isn't a tipple for anyone in the team so please bare with us for our limited expertise here :) We tried this Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Gin via some 50ml samples that we paired with some basic tonic. The small bottles carried a description of 'a small batch of artisanal gin infused with cocoa shells' - an intriguing concept to say the least. What soon became apparent was that cocoa was not the only flavour enhancement on offer and actually there were a several different ingredients and additives to the base gin. Comparing tasting notes across the team we did manage to identify several of the non-traditional flavours involved. The most obvious was the citrus element which was by far the overriding flavour that came through. Though the citrus dominated there were times where spices, nuts and even herbs could be detected. No one in the team reported a distinct cocoa or chocolate influence which was somewhat of a disappointment. The overall jurisdiction was that this was a nice, easy to drink spirit but it wouldn't be something we would recommend on the basis of it's chocolate credentials or influence.
7.0 out of 10
We hope you enjoyed these reviews today. Let us know what you think of either product by dropping us a line @Chocmission. Remember you can get 10% off at Hotel Chocolate using the special CMISSIONHCWIN10 code!