After reading an article about pairing chocolate and Scotch Whisky (thank you Highland Park and Jeffrey Street Whisky), I began to think deeply, between drams, of doing some experimentations myself. To celebrate the ingenuity of Highland Park, I will start with the Dark Origins and four chocolate from Cacao 70.
The Dark origins is a NAS (no-age statement) aged in Sherry casks up to 60% in first-fill European Casks, 20% in first-fill American Casks and 20% in re-fill Casks. Furthermore, Highland Park use peat from the Orkney Islands to dry their barley (the famous « heather » ).
Here are the notes for the whisky :
Nose : chocolate milk with a little whipped cream on top, English Breakfast black tea, smoked herbs as in a grandmother’s concoction.
Palate : heather fire, light peat, dark chocolate, a few notes of vanilla and walnut and a touch of cinnamon.
Finish: tasty and salivating, very slow and sweet.
Luckily, I felt chocolate notes, both on the nose and in the mouth, which facilitated the agreement between the Scotch and the chocolates. In order to clearly identify the notes of each chocolate, rinsing the mouth between each chocolate was necessary. Here are the notes :
Santo-Domingo : 70% (creamy, sweet, brings out the smoke and whiskey peat)
Ocoa : 70% (A little malty, dry on the palate but salivating along the esophagus, brings out the sugars of the whiskey, we guess slight notes of caramel and vanilla ice cream)
Tanzania: 75% (Dry, crisp, very light astringency, brings out the unctuous and powerful side of the Dark Origins)
Ecuador : 76% (Powerful cocoa bean, slight bitterness on the edge of the tongue, brings out peat and smoke as well as malted barley)
Wow! What an instructive and exciting exercise ! I will now start again … with the 50+ other bottles of whisk(e)y in my collection !
By the way, small preference for the pairing with the chocolate of Ecuador!