As anyone who has ever flown out of Ireland will tell you, every Irish airport plays host to the Guinness ministore, home to a plethora of merchandise designed to show your allegiance to the ‘dark stuff’. I have glanced at the selection of tat on offer before – you can buy, hats, fridge magnets, postcards, clothing, keyrings and crystal souvenirs, and now chocolate.
Yes, in a somewhat bizarre move, those lovely Guinness folks have allowed the Irish Chocolate Company to manufacture a dark chocolate bar “Enhanced with the flavour of Guinness® Beer”. Naturally, I had to buy a bar just so I could share this marvellous news with you all.
A couple of things swiftly became apparent. One – no percentage of cocoa given on the packet, and Two – 0.1% Guinness beer content. Granted, the bar also contains floral hops, mixed spice and hop extract but perhaps ‘Guinness Beer’ might be another example of the world famous blarney?
Anyway, a first sniff at the bar and yes, it smells chocolatey (probably a good thing, after all, do we want chocolate that smells like a pub in the morning?). The initial taste is, if anything, a little smokey on the palate, with the more floral hop tastes coming in as the chocolate melts. There is a certain beery aftertaste to this bar but I’d be hard pressed to confirm it as being Guinness (and believe me, I know what Guinness tastes like).
I daresay that, like myself, most of the people who buy this bar will do so for the novelty value, or as an interesting alternative to the Irish Cream Truffles and other ‘local’ confectionery on offer (there are also Truffles available, a box of which were given to me for my birthday, so expect a review soon). The chocolate itself is fairly unremarkable save for the hoppy, beery flavour. Worth a try, and probably likely to be better received than a pair of Guinness socks or a toucan tiepin.