thechocolaterevolution
HOTEL CHOCOLAT

A RECENT ADDITION TO the British high street, HOTEL CHOCOLAT is the currently the brightest beacon of the chocolate revolution in the UK. The company started as a catalogue-based order business in the nineties and opened its first stores in 2004 - now there are 60 throughout the UK as well as one in Boston (US) and a further four in Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait. For some time this chain of chocolate shops was lacking a serious tasting collection, but recently a range of The Purist single origin bars has been added which rivals some of the French output.

Availability: HOTEL CHOCOLAT chocolate can be bought on their website as well as in their high street stores around the UK.

Stores: As of October 2011, HOTEL CHOCOLAT has 60 stores in the UK as well as a store in Boston (US) and four outlets in Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait. A complete list can be found here.

Website: www.hotelchocolat.co.uk

THE CHOCOLATE BARS

click on countries of origin for more information

MENAVAVA 72%
Madagascar, Africa

This very good bar carries strong notes of sour citrus fruit and grapefruit, and has a slightly oily texture. In the finish we detected hints of nutmeg.

Update: This bar has been discontinued. The current Madagascan bar is Sambirano (66%).

RABOT ESTATE 72%
St Lucia, Carribean

This bar from the HOTEL CHOCOLAT plantation starts off with strong coffee notes before developing flavours of tobacco and hazelnut and ending in a well-balanced finish and aftertaste.

Update: This bar has been replaced with a 70% 'dash of milk' bar from the same origin.

UBA BUDO 72%
Sao Tome, Africa

Initial notes of red berry fruit give way to dry, earthy flavours with hints of coffee. A well-balanced, but not spectacular bar.

Update: This bar has been discontinued.

OCUMARE VALLEY 72%
St Lucia, Carribean

A well-balanced, smooth and easy-to-eat bar, but without unusual flavours. A satisfying finish with notes of hazelnut.

Update: This bar has been discontinued.

The other single origin bars from HOTEL CHOCOLAT are the Chuao (Venezuela, 70%), Saint Lucia Island Growers (50% milk, 65% 96hr conch, 65% 120hr conch), Hacienda Iara (Ecuador, 80%, 90%, 100%), Saint Lucia Rabot Estate (66%), Alto El Sol (72%, Peru) and Tsachila (Ecuador, 75%, wild cocoa) as well as a 100% bar.

© BlueDog 2011