For me, Trader Joe’s is a mecca for impulse shopping. These Brandy Beans, or “brandy filled chocolates”, were the result of my most recent pilgrimage.
The back of the box had the following wordy description: “From master confectioners in Germany, we bring you an aristocratic treat with a bourgeois bent. Here’s a candy that’s sure to delight both chocolate and brandy connoisseurs alike. Our Trader Joe’s Brandy Beans are a harmonious pairing of creamy bittersweet chocolate and the soothing warmth of brandy. Serve slightly chilled for maximum enjoyment.”
While I was intrigued by the mix of brandy and chocolate, I somehow doubt that true brandy connoisseurs would be happy with the booze inside these beans. The booze is real, by the way; you have to be of age to buy it.
The long, slim rectangle of a box contained 24 bean-shaped chocolates. Each was about the size of the first two joints of my index finger.
The beans contained a lightly amber-colored ooze of booze. I tried them at room temperature, so the smooth liquid was pretty flowy, only slightly more viscous than water.
The chocolate shell had a thick base and thin upper shell. It was slightly grainy when first bitten into, but its melt thickened if I held it on my tongue.
I thought it rather sweet for dark chocolate, but perhaps that was to counter the alcoholic’s slight bitterness. Beyond that, it was hard to get a feel for its flavor profile through the brandy.
That brandy packed a solid hit of alcoholic flavor and feel, but it lacked the throat-searing burn of true brandy. Definitely the easiest I’ve ever had brandy go down.
This was a solid cut above the generic bottle-shaped chocolates filled with liquor that have been my previous experience with booze and chocolate, mostly due to the palatable quality of the chocolate and brandy.
While neither would be exceptional in its own category, they stand out from the pack in combination. That being said, I think I prefer my chocolate and brandy in isolation (or sidecars, for the latter). I enjoyed this for the novelty factor, but I wouldn’t buy them again. An O.