I’m slowly tasting my way through Vosges’s many different bars – slowly because they run about $10 for each 3 oz bar. The Smoke & Stout Caramel Bar was comprised of “Rogue Ale’s chocolate stout beer, alderwood smoked salt, burnt sugar caramel” and 70% dark chocolate.
Like all of Vosges’s full-sized bars (at least the one’s that I’ve had), this was segmented into 8 squares, each etched with either “Vosges Haut Chocolat” or a cartoon girl. And like all of their caramel bars that I’ve had, each of those squares was filled with an oozy caramel.
Unfortunately, the bar didn’t easily split along its segments. More often, it broke open across the squares, releasing an oil slick of caramel. It was pretty to look at but left a sticky mess to deal with.
The caramel here was really unusual looking. It was completely opaque and so dark it was nearly black. It was liquid and flowy with no chew or pull.
It tasted sweet and smoky with a wheaty beery note from the ale. There was a salty hit to the end. There were no burnt sugar notes that I could detect – they all got swallowed up in the caramel’s sugary sweetness.
The dark chocolate was sweet and softer/less snappy than I would’ve expected for a 70%. It was thick and dark with a nice cocoa depth.
As a whole, the bar was too sweet for me. After a few bites, my throat began to burn.
I took more bites than I normally would have because of the messiness factor – I wanted to leave only sealed squares without exposed caramel, but as I nibbled, it kept splitting open and spilling more caramel.
The bar was nice enough, but at its price point, I expected more toffee notes and less mess. It had so much mess! An O.
3 thoughts on “Vosges Smoke and Stout Caramel Bar”
The mess factor is my issue with all the Vosges caramel bars – they taste great but the caramel and chocolate don’t stick together at all. Very odd considering that their caramel pieces are just the right texture and meld nicely with the chocolate couverture.
Sigh…someday they’ll learn.
All the Voges caramel bars are messy. I find however that the mess factor is greatly minimized when I chill the bars in the fridge, then use a chef’s knife to cut off the segment(s) I want to eat now (putting the rest back in the fridge). Using a knife helps it to break along the segmentation lines and keep the caramel where it belongs; and when it fails and the caramel cell is breached, the chill slows the flow to practically nothing.
That being said the Smoke and Stout bar is tastier when it’s closer to room temperature than fridge temp.
The caramel bars are not supposed to be anything like the caramel bites they’re supposed to be that way, i called in once and they told me abt how the recipes are different. i agree about using a knife (a good one) it helps, but then again the messiness is the price I am willing to pay for the smokey stout bar. SO GOOD!I wish they made them in mini but i guess they’re harder to fill.