Another in Stainer’s ‘spicy’ collection, this one is a 70% cocoa bar which has been blended with ‘African Herbs’ – in this case Cola, Cinnamon, Tonka Bean and Vanilla. It’s the first of a handful of 70% bars in my possession, and I was rather looking forward to trying these, as the milk bar had been a little disappointing.
The chocolate itself was surprisingly sweeter than expected, but with good bittersweet leathery, woody notes and a very tart finish. The herbs and spices never took over from the cocoa flavours, but there were definite cinammon and vanilla tastes there, and a hint of nutty earthiness which I can only surmise came from the Tonka Beans. A second piece revealed more of the complex flavours in the chocolate, with the Cola nut flavour revealing itself (yes, it does taste vaguely like coca-cola). Apparently cola contains theobromine, a stimulant which is also found in chocolate. Who knew?
Overall I found this to be a very interesting bar to taste. The flavours of the chocolate really didn’t get going until the second or third piece, by which time I was nodding my head enthusiastically whilst trying to come up with ways of describing them. It’s a very good blend of some interestingly complex flavours, and I’m now really looking forward to trying the rest of the ‘set’.
One thing I will say – it’s a shame Stainer’s don’t have UK distribution. Perhaps someone can step up and take care of that?