My wife is a bourbon widow. She is dragged to distillery tours, off-main-street liquor stores, and all kinds of bourbon events. While she enjoys the history aspect of the events, she's definitely not a bourbon connoisseur. But wine and chocolate? That's another story. So today, I'm bringing in a special guest to help me review Whelpdale Chocolates.
There's Bourbon in My Chocolate Whelpdale Chocolates produces small batch chocolate in Louisville, Kentucky. The vegan chocolate bars are produced from raw cocoa beans to finished candy bars in a "bean-to-bar" fashion. Ingredients are sourced to be organic, non-GMO, sustainable, and fairly traded. Founder Gary Whelpdale arrived in the U.S. from England with thoughts of working in the music industry. Upon settling in Bloomington, Indiana, Gary followed his dream, and began gathering recording clients as well as working stints in a vegan cafe. In 2014, he set out to make vegan white chocolate using traditional English recipes. From there, he branched out into all forms of chocolate.
The Tasting Today, I'm joined by my wife Leta - an expert chocolate taster where we will be sampling two bourbon candy bars from Whelpdale Chocolates. As we unwrap the bars, we're greeted by a bright orange foil wrapper, and I find myself wondering if there's a Willy Wonka golden ticket contained inside. Mint Julep Milk Chocolate Ingredients: cane sugar, cacao beans, cacao butter, non-GMO soy milk powder, Rabbit Hole bourbon, mint, soy lecithin. 43% Belize cacao Joseph Bourbon: Like a peppermint patty without the cream filling. This is smooth and delightful. There are some crunch bits on the bottom - not sure what those are - but this gives it a nice chew. No bourbon flavors, though, unlike a bourbon ball. Mrs. Joseph Bourbon: The mint is very pleasant with natural (non-mouthwash) flavor. This is really refreshing. It is smooth and creamy resulting in a really nice chocolate bar.
Bourbon Dark Chocolate Ingredients: organic cacao beans, cane sugar, cacao butter, Rabbit Hole bourbon, organic soy lecithin. 72% Colombian cacao Joseph Bourbon: I'm not the best one to judge dark chocolate, but this isn't bad. Creamy and balanced, though, I'm still trying to figure out what those crunchy bits are. Mrs. Joseph Bourbon: That's interesting: the first taste was just "fine"; the second taste - now that it has coated my whole palate - is very nice. This is dark chocolate, but it is very smooth. Unlike some dark chocolates that are so high in cacao, as to grab you by the back of your neck and say, "I'm dark chocolate", this is very delicious. And, I think I found out what those little crunchy bits are - it's fine bits of cacao beans. That is a really interesting touch! Overall Pretty impressed with these little bars! While we (alright - me) was hoping for a little more bourbon flavor, these are, nonetheless, fine chocolate bars and it's very neat to see actual bourbon (and not just bourbon flavor or "essence of bourbon") as an ingredient. Keep an eye out for these in the Bluegrass!