In a previous blog posting (10/30/16), I wrote about chocolate makers who were using nibs aged in whisky (Bourbon) barrels and as flavoring in caramels. Since then I've encountered two more chocolate makers producing whisky-inspired bars and bonbons. In these later tastings, Scotch was used rather than Bourbon. Zotter of Austria produces a dark milk bar which contains a peated Scotch caramel filling that is quite pleasing, but rather subdued. It is suitable even for consumers who may not like Scotch. But for a heady aromatic experience of peated Scotch, Chocolate Tree's 70% dark Whisky with Nibs bar really satisfies.
Scottish chocolate maker Alastair Gower soaks Marañon nibs in Laphroaig and sets these crunchy wonders in a bar made from the same beans. Gower says that the alcohol is lost in the process, so don't look for a buzz beyond the sensory delights of aroma, taste and texture. Laphroaig, while a great Islay classic, would not have been my first choice for treating nibs because it has medicinal and marine notes. There are peated whiskies that don't have those marine notes. But the medicinal and island notes don't really show up in this bar. Instead, smoky aspects pour from the bar as it does from a dram.
If you are a fan of smoky peated Scotch, you will like this bar. Chocolate Tree also produces a caramel bonbon (praline) with a non-peated Scotch inclusion. The ultra-soft caramel center is a miracle of liquid suspension, a thick nectar sipping consistency. The Highland (Speyside) Scotch flavor is true, full and satisfying.