Bowmore & Montezuma’s Chocolatiers Team Up

Love Bowmore?  Love Chocolate? Then you will love this!

So what is better than Bowmore 15 Year old “Darkest” and Bowmore Small Batch?  Well maybe not better, but certainly just as good are, Montezuma’s Bowmore infused chocolate bars.

Bowmore Minitures and Chocolate Bars
Bowmore Minitures and Chocolate Bars

We were sent a lovely gift box (just before Easter) with a lovely chocolate egg, a minute of Bowmore Small Batch and Bowmore 15 Year old “Darkest”, alongside a Bowmore Small Batch infused chocolate bar and a Bowmore 15 Year old “Darkest” infused chocolate bar.

Product History

Montezuma’s (@montezumas) is a family owned, British chocolate making company and was founded by former lawyers, husband and wife team, Helen and Simon Pattinson in 2000.  They started the business with not much know how, but plenty of passion and dreams of a better way to make chocolate, and despite it all being a bit of a rollercoaster and steep learning curve, the couple have built up the company’s reputation and still trade with both ethics and passion at their core.

Rachel Barrie, Master Blender for Morrison Bowmore Distillers (@Bowmore1779) had this to say….”We recommend that Bowmore 15 Year old “Darkest” is enjoyed with chocolate, so it was the natural next step to create a bar infused with the whisky.  Montezuma’s is the perfect partner for us as they share the same values as our single malt – hand crafted, traditional and using the finest ingredients”.

Simon Pattinson said….”we took the challenge of bringing the taste of Islay to life in chocolate very seriously.  Each Bowmore expression is distinct and it was crucial that we drew on the key tasting notes in the bar.  We believe we have done just that and are incredibly excited to celebrate this iconic brand in chocolate form”.

So, now you’ve heard what the experts have to say, here’s what I say:

I was really looking forward to trying these bars, both on their own, and then paired with whisky.  I have been lucky enough to attend two chocolate and whisky pairing classes this year, both run by the, always wonderful, Miss Whisky.  I learnt so much about the similarities of producing chocolate and whisky, and came away with a lot of knowledge.  You can read more about one of the classes I attended here.

So on to the chocolate, I have reviewed the chocolate both on its own and also paired with the corresponding whisky.

 Bowmore Small Batch Whisky Bar

Small Batch Chocolate Bar
Small Batch Chocolate Bar

I nosed the chocolate bar much the same way as I would whisky.  The dark chocolate is very fruity, hints of red fruits, redcurrants and tangy raspberries, make way for the very sweet, comforting vanilla notes to make their way through, before layer upon layer of honeycomb sweetness, combined with the malted notes of crushed digestives and warm milk draw in and then taper off.

It tasted fantastic, creamy, soft on the palate, vanilla sweetness, like a comforting hug.  Followed by sticky sweet honey, a touch of white pepper, with some nutmeg and cinnamon tingle hits the very back of the tongue when you least expect it.

Chocolate and Small Batch Paired

Bowmore Small batch
Bowmore Small batch

I took a bite of the chocolate bar, and resisted the temptation to chew, I then took a sip of the Bowmore Small Batch and let the two marry on the tongue.

Once paired with the whisky the gentle smoke and brine carries through taking the sweetness of the chocolate and adding a saltiness to it, much like a salted caramel, the fruits become richer, and there is a further complexity to the spice, the cinnamon becomes hotter and the sweetness is very much tempered.  As the whisky rescinds, the vanilla influence becomes stronger and the finish is sweet and smoky.

Personally I think that you can enjoy the chocolate bar on its own, however it is delicious and somewhat more decedent when paired with the whisky.  I think this bar will prove very popular indeed.

If you would like to learn more about the Bowmore Small Batch Single Malt, then you can read our tasting notes here.

 Bowmore 15 Year old “Darkest” Whisky Bar

Bowmore "Darkest" Chocolate Ba
Bowmore “Darkest” Chocolate Bar

Again I nosed the chocolate bar much the same way as I would whisky.  The dark chocolate this time is so fruity it makes your mouth water, juicy plump raisins, with cranberries and plums are there in abundance.  Christmas cake spices are all present with a touch of dark molasses and cocoa nib bitterness.

This is far drying on the palate, very rich.  It has a gentle sweetness but it’s perfectly countered by the bitterness of the good quality cocoa, with hints of espresso and a gentle Brazil nut influence also.  The plump raisins are still present and there is even the smallest touch of dark cherries also.  Superb!

Chocolate and “Darkest” Paired

Bowmore "Darkest"
Bowmore “Darkest”

Once again I took a bite of the chocolate bar, and tried (but failed) to resist the temptation to chew. I then took a generous sip of the Bowmore 15 Year old “Darkest” and let them do their thing.

Once paired with the whisky the darker notes of the chocolate were released, there was a more earthy, dampness that wasn’t there when I tasted the chocolate on its own.  The nuttiness became far more intense with the sweetness all but dissipating.  The bitter espresso notes and molasses really come into their own, and the overall finish is long and drying.

This bar is one that you can happily eat on its own and really enjoy, but once paired, it becomes something far more special, and this enhances the whisky almost as much as the whisky enhances the chocolate bar.  I would highly recommend trying this.

Conclusion

Both of these bars are really lovely.  They taste great, both on their own but also paired with the whisky too, I think that these will be extremely popular and are a great introduction to both Montezuma’s and to Bowmore also.

I would highly recommend trying to get your hands on these bars.  The “Darkest” is my personal favourite but both are a fantastic example of why chocolate and whisky work so well together!

With thanks to the team at Bowmore for the lovely egg and fantastic Bowmore goodies.  Thanks also to Montezuma’s.  You can learn more about them, and of course, order their fantastic products on their website here.

Kirsty Clarke (@kirstyclarke29)

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