There’s nothing new about bringing together alcohol and chocolate, but Twice The Vice have taken a slightly different approach. They’ve tried to put as much alcohol as possible into each and every chocolate, but not resort to the usual method of simply filling a chocolate shell with liquor.
Instead, they use a smooth ganache as the vehicle to carry the alcohol and are trying to make a higher class of liquors, although there is definitely a tongue in cheek element to how they achieve that.
These are not subtle chocolates, and that is reflected in the tagline on the insert – Enjoy Irresponsibly – and also in the warning on the back of the box which states that pregnant women should not consume them and not to operate any heavy machinery whilst under their influence. Yikes.
They manage to squeeze about 1/10th of a shot into each of the generously sized chocolates, making them ridiculously boozy – even with the box shut, the alcohol vapours can be clearly smelled. And the first bite has the potential to take your breath away because this is more alcohol than anybody would ever expect in a chocolate.
The chocolates look elegant, thanks to a simplistic design with just enough information on them to make it easy to identify which is which. When it comes down to it, these chocolates are all about the alcohol simply because that is the dominant flavour. It almost doesn’t matter that there has been some effort to use good quality chocolate because of all that alcohol, but it still has impact on the texture, especially of the ganache – which is great – and the lingering taste at the end. So it does what it needs to and a touch more.
There are a few different options when it comes to the types of drinks, including tequila, whiksy and a bunch of mixed drinks like White Russians and Margaritas. The four varieties in The Gentlemen’s Club Collection which found its way into my hands are:
Single Malt Scotch
My absolute favourite of the quartet, thanks to the presence of some 18 year old Glenlivet. A big, bold punch of whisky with plenty of sweetness and hints of toffee which is well matched by the chocolate lurking in the background. Delicious.
Single Barrel Bourbon
This one benefits from the choice of another really, really unsubtle huge flavour. This time, it is a 10 year old bourbon (Eagle Rare, if that means anything to you…) which comes barrelling out of the gate, all woody and smoky. Not bad at all.
Compared to the first two, this is a whole lot meeker and not in a good way. There’s no doubt that this is a martini, but it suffers by comparison and so was at the bottom of the quartet in my view.
This is the better of the two cocktails, thanks to the hints of cherry and bitters which linger at the end. All in all, a more well rounded chocolate but not a patch on the whisky and bourbon.
So Twice The Vice have succeeded in doing what they were trying to do – classing up liqueur chocolates. Definitely a niche product, but a well done niche product. And it might just be the liquor talking now that I’ve worked my way through most of the box, but I enjoyed these more than I anticipating – now I’m going to go and lie down for a while…