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Issue 72 - I should cocoa

Whisky Magazine Issue 72
June 2008


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I should cocoa

Writer Kate Ennis goes on a mouth watering exploration with a London chocolatier.

List all the complimentary flavours that naturally go with chocolate – orange, nuts, dried fruit, caramel, vanilla – and you have something that's also starting to sound a lot like a whisky tasting note.Add in the cocoa note that can sometimes be detected in your dram and you have a natural synergy of flavours between chocolate and whisky that make them perfect partners.

For starters,both are luxuries that share a wonderfully rich history.The Mayan civilisation was enjoying the feel-good phenols of cocoa in liquid form centuries before our Celtic forefathers first discovered the enlivening properties of drinking a liquid made from distilled barley.Parallels can also be drawn from the distinct provenance and sheer diversity of expressions – with so many types, blends and varieties of chocolate to taste. It's possible to detect up to 300 different flavours in chocolate, with the more unusual flavours depending on the blend and where the cocoa beans are grown.

With such diversity and complexity to discover within quality chocolate,no wonder it can inspire the same level of connoisseurial appeal and fanatical devotion that we experience as whisky devotees.

The combination of whisky and chocolate is nothing new, of course – a fact testified by the abundance of whisky liqueur chocolates.

However, these gloopy confections are doing neither parties any great favours as talented London based chocolatier,Paul A.Young explains: “The sugary syrup of the liquid centre distor...

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