By Debbie Shocair
When I wrote this it was the season for Easter candy, endless varieties of chocolate eggs, and…. chocolate whiskey. Easter is gone now, but the lingering pleasure of seasonal chocolates lives on for some weeks in our cupboards, and Ballotin Original Chocolate flavored whiskey is a fine and tasty grown-up accoutrement to your spring stash of Easter-y goodies.
Saloon Spirits founder, Paul Tuell, has successfully created a series of four chocolate-flavored whiskey varieties, and this is the third one I’ve happily sampled. It’s clear that the whiskey-loving community is becoming ever more discerning, and though the market for flavored whiskey seems to have leveled off a bit, the one glaring vacancy in those flavors has finally begun to be addressed. That being just plain chocolate.
Playing upon the natural flavor notes found in bourbon, primarily caramel, vanilla and chocolate, Tuell has developed a line of four flavors, each of which begins with bourbon-esque whiskey. He sources light whiskey from established distillers and blends it with flavoring components at Challenge Bottling, Louisville, KY. The result? Sorta yummy. Even at a modest 60 proof, the flavor is very well balanced between the whiskey and the confectionery notes.
The nose on this Original Chocolate flavor was simple. Think Lindt chocolate truffles. The mouthfeel was smooth and slippery, as you would expect from a sweet, flavored 60 proof spirit, and yet there a slight tingle under the tongue.
The finish? Oh. It was short, but if you like Cadbury Creme Eggs, then this is the flavored whiskey for you!
While Ballotin Original Chocolate is certainly delightful on its own, I would also highly recommend it as an ingredient in a chocolate martini – the kind that isn’t already rolling in creamy sweetness. Just a touch of Original Chocolate to a fine crisp vodka would make a martini lover smile. And. How about replacing the bitters in an old fashioned with ¼ – ½ ounce of Ballotin Original Chocolate flavored whiskey for a dessert cocktail your favorite whiskey lover would enjoy?
Retails at around $27.