2018 SILVER AT THE ACADEMY OF CHOCOLATE AWARDS
Tasting Notes: Honey Nougat, Oak, Whiskey
Ingredients: Cacao, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter
This chocolate is made with a blend of Ritual cacao nibs that are aged in High West Distillery bourbon whiskey barrels for several months. This process provides subtle notes of the charred, white American Oak and light hints of bourbon whiskey. The craft chocolate maker found that aging the nibs in a fresh whiskey barrel has an interesting effect on the final flavor of the chocolate. This is by no means whiskey-flavored chocolate, but the flavor of the whiskey is detectable. What really stands out is the "mellowing" effect of the oak whiskey barrel. The chocolate tastes a bit "softer around the edges" and has a pleasant aroma and aftertaste. Due to this unique aging process, this chocolate is extremely limited. High West is one of the local whiskey distilleries in Park City, Utah, and is the go-to whiskey for those who want a little taste of the high mountain west.
Shiny and homogeneous on the surface
Aroma: mahonia honey-like scents, dried fruits (figs), wood-smoke (peaty), feint biscuity toasted hints, vanilla.
Texture: pleasing with imperfections
Aromatic finesse: *******
Acidity: *** (finish-aftertaste)
In this bar, what isn't classic, but adds depth and complexity, is indeed the barrel aging process. As you should already know, the vanilla-related aromas in Bourbon Barrel Whiskey derive from American white oak subsequently, in the case of chocolate, the aging period of the cacao nibs increases so much greater the concentration of these flavors on the nose and the mouth. Certainly, as with whiskey, oak increases complexity, enhances fragrance and delicacy, and develops a unique roundness to the chocolate bar.
Besides the unconvincing texture, my tasting is very exciting: sweet vermouth (red Italian-style vermouth with subtly bitter notes and a sweet, spicy, stewed fruity finish), honey nougat, cherry turnover, sun-dried raisins, spices (vanilla). The finish is complex and distinct developing flavors of orange pastry rolls, dark chocolate, dried figs. Cracked black pepper aftertaste and a lingering "alcohol-fueled" heat.
Batch number 1 - Harvest Year 2018
Values expressed in stars from 1 to 8. If the bar is extraordinarily close to perfection, I can go up to 10.