Info Details
Country UK   
Type Dark-Milk   
Strain Blend   
Source St. Lucia   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style New School      (at least for the "Gin")
To paraphrase Ezra Pound, great chocolate is news that stays news.

Take Milk Chocolate -- been around officially since 1879 -- its truths objective, necessary & timeless.

By adding salt & "gin" to this mainstay, Hotel Chocolat keeps it news.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: deep mauve milk
Surface: the Hotel's signature slats
Temper: glistens
Snap: a league of its own -- semi-pro -- in keeping with a Dark-Milk between Milk & Dark
Aroma   8 / 10
no mistaking
Mouthfeel   13.2 / 15
Texture: thick / turgid
Melt: take a seat
Flavor   42.6 / 50
Lot 15231; 2014 Harvest
bangs in instant Milk Choc -> salt a slow developer which then lifts a caramel-lava in its tow -> deep mocha-toffee -> unexpected, even inexplicable, strawberry at back, at an uncanny sweetness, to cut thru the volcanic chocolate -> closes up malted grains, then kicks it with a real cow's hoof of milk powder burns
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, whole cream powder, cocoa butter, sea salt, lecithin

Lot 16266; 2014 Harvest
distillls gin essence right off -> melds with chocolate in the guise of juniper berry (for the obvious reason… one [gin] derives from the other [juniper], as well as the actual element - see list of ingredients) -> stays converted like this until sublimated into a schizandra roll
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, whole cream powder, cocoa butter, juniper oil, lecithin

Quality   15.9 / 20
37 minutes in the roaster at 130ºC / 265ºF + 120 hours in the hopper largely shapes the outcomes here, imprinting a maker's mark on the underlying base.

Salt, common enough, both as a mineral found throughput the world & in chocolate bars around it nowadays. But juniper berry? Well, that presents a different, rather rare, inclusion.

Clever name to slip this by as an alcoholics dry-dream when in fact it relies on its source -- juniper. Other than Madagascan cacáo, which above all others often inheres with juniper-inflections (though none added in actuality), this flavor tag seldom enters the lexicon of chocolate. And no one to date in the premium scene has yet to confect the two by adding juniper to chocolate.

While the union here neither succeeds nor fails outright (the oil too strong & the base too incompatible), it presents a welcome novelty worth exploring.

Reviewed September 29, 2015


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