Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Whittard of Chelsea Sicilian Lemon and Sea Salt Milk & GuatemalanCoffee Dark Chocolate

I have loved Whittard's for as long as I can remember and it's a pleasure to be the first to write up on their chocolate! The royal mien of Whittard's is nicely expressed through their packaging, though, on the milk chocolate bar, the yellow background with white lettering didn't look too well designed. The chocolate tablets were thin and delicate, weighing 45g and priced at £3. You know with Whittard's that you're receiving quality, but I was curious as to whether the experience of their chocolate could justify the high pricing

Sicilian Lemon and Sea Salt 
This 35% cocoa Belgian milk chocolate is a blend of high quality cocoa beans from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The classic, non-complex flavours of high quality African cocoa created an expectancy of the chocolate focalising, intensifying and complementing the lemon and sea salt

The chocolate had a medium brown colouring with a soft reddish tint. The aroma was a forceful lemon, naturally visualising the lemoniest lemon cake, though as I smelt more intently there were coconut and floral scents which overall made it smell odd...similar to lemon washing up liquid. The salt added a savoury touch, hinting towards herbs or pepper being paired with the lemon

In flavour, the salt came in nearing the finish of the chocolate. Lemon and salt work brilliantly with milk chocolate (I found this first when having Seed & Bean's lime version). As I left the chocolate to melt, I could feel it slowly flow off my tongue, enveloping my mouth, beautiful. The assertive flavours were delivered and enjoyed, but I was a little disappointed at the lack of a chocolate flavour (more cocoa mass would have been preferred, I like chocolate with a cocoa dimension)

Guatemalan Coffee
This dark chocolate was of 70% Hispaniola cocoa beans (Dominican Republic) blended with Whittard's award winning Guatemalan Elephant coffee. The Guatemalan Elephant coffee beans are known to have a rich honey flavour with a chocolate sweetness

One word: aromatic. The coffee was sweet, rich and sensational. I intently smelt the chocolate, again finding a coconut and floral background which sadly didn't suit the coffee (nor me!). To the nose, it was rare when 'chocolate' would come through, but when it did...oh boy. The initial impression of the chocolate is beautiful. The deep roast; without any sign of bitterness; with caramel, brown sugar sweet notes; and the occasional fleeting chocolate aroma; dilated my pupils. O if only those nutty/floral impurities could have removed themselves

The taste opened with ground coffee, a crescendo of caramel and then promptly chocolate cascaded in. The chocolate I could taste suggested fruity cacao! With the sweetness there was an oozing honey feel about it. The chocolate tasted and smelt like a mocha - it wasn't equally balanced - with the domination of coffee and supplementary chocolate, rather it was perfectly balanced

The texture was not so smooth but the flavour was super. The finish was coffee, a little ashy but still pretty sweet, though eventually it's a smoked cigarette that lingers in breath (unpleasant). This coffee dark chocolate is superior to Marks & Spencer's version, but that's no surprise with Whittard's expertise in the field of coffee. Although the milk chocolate was enjoyable, it did not wow me like the Guatemalan Elephant chocolate did

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