Ritual Chocolate Vanilla Bar
I've been saving this bar for just the right moment. Bourbon pairs perfectly with many foods, but especially fine chocolate. With the holiday upon us, it's time to see what Ritual Chocolate Vanilla Bar is all about.
The Search for the Best Cacao
Ritual Chocolate was founded by Anna Seear and Robbie Stout more than a decade ago in Colorado. The pair ultimately settled in Park City, Utah, and today make a host of chocolate products. Using old world methods and modern equipment, their goal was to produce some of the best craft chocolate. World chocolate judges would agree, as the pair has earned top honors for some of their chocolate products.
Anna and Robbie set out to also make chocolate in a sustainable manner. Searching the world for the best cacao and sugar that is grown responsibly, as well as using compostable chocolate pouches and chocolate boxes, their chocolate operations continue to be green. As they continue their practices, they've set the goal of becoming zero waste and all being 100% solar powered.
From the website, we learn that this 70% cacao bar highlights the flavor and aroma of high quality vanilla beans. Made with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, this chocolate is rich, dark and creamy with a floral, buttery aroma. While we typically believe in letting the true flavor of the cacao shine through without the addition of vanilla, in this chocolate we're highlighting the amazing flavors of bourbon vanilla. We're using whole vanilla beans from Madagascar and combining them with our Mid Mountain Blend chocolate.
Ingredients: cacao, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, bourbon vanilla.
Tasting Notes: While there's no bourbon on the nose, this has lovely chocolate and vanilla notes. The bar is crisp, but is surprisingly creamy and rich on the palate. I wasn't expecting that, as the snap of the chocolate was so crisp (unlike, say, a softer, more traditional Dove milk chocolate bar). The finish is medium-long and continues to highlight vanilla and chocolate notes - like a warm cup of hot cocoa.
At 70% cacao, this could easily become more bitter, but is nicely balanced with the sweeter elements of sugar, cocoa butter and, of course, bourbon vanilla. Paired with a neat pour of Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select, this is absolutely decadent, and brings the chocolate and marzipan notes present in the bourbon to the surface. Only one word to say - "Yummmm".