French Broad Chocolate Redux – Part 1

After my last two part review of French Broad Chocolates (part 1 and part 2) that I had purchased at A Southern Season, Logan from French Broad left a nice comment addressing some of my criticisms.

He agreed with my assessment that there were some freshness issues because I’d purchased them through a reseller and offered to send me a fresh batch of free samples. I’ll review three today and three on Wednesday.

First up, a redo on the vanilla bourbon that I’d already tried. I enjoyed it enough the first time, but it was even better fresh.

It started off sweetly, then took on an increasingly intense level of bourbon booziness. Again, it was all the flavor of bourbon without any of the alcohol’s burn, but it was so much more deliciously intense when the truffle was fresh.

The little pecan topper added a nice, fresh crunch, but the boozy ganache was the star here. It gets upgraded to an OM.

Vanilla bourbon caramel was a caramel version of the above, described as “organic vanilla bean and Knob Creek bourbon in a liquid caramel.” It was a pretty molded dark chocolate pinwheel filled with a smooth, liquid caramel.

That caramel melted in my mouth. It started with a light, fruity sweetness before yielding any boozy notes.

The presence of the bourbon came through, but it wasn’t as strong as that of the vanilla bourbon truffle, and I really loved the buttery scorch to the end of the caramel melt.

The dark chocolate shell finished it all off with a nice degree of cocoa depth. An OMG.

And last for today, their salted honey caramel, described as “local wildflower honey, organic cream and butter, and grey salt. Dipped in dark chocolate.”

There was a hefty dose of fine grained salt. In addition to the slash the cut across the diagonal, lots of salt was stuck to the bottom as well. On sight I worried that it was too much, but on taste, the salt balance was spot on.

The caramel was chewy with a bearably small amount of stickiness. It was sweet with the golden tones of honey – smooth and light rather than the burnt depth that I’m used to in salted caramels – and well highlighted by the added salt.

The honey flavor really came through in the finish, more floral than sugar’s comparatively bland sweetness. Finally, the dark chocolate shell added a nice cocoa flavor.

I like my caramels just shy of burnt, but this lighter version was quite enjoyable as well. An OM.

Stay tuned for Wednesday when I cover the canela picante, pomegranate ginger, and maple.