Christmas Tastes by Scottish Producers. Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Dark Chocolate and Clootie Dumpling Ale
Many of Scotland's food and drink producers release special products at Christmas time. It is fun to try them out and see if they evoke the flavours of the season and make you feel all festive. I decided to give two a try. One is a chocolate bar by Edinburgh-based Coco Chocolatier and the other is a beer by The Orkney Brewery.
Gold, Frankincense and Myrr Dark Chocolate
Coco Chocolatier in Edinburgh produces luxury chocolate bars with unique flavours. You can read more about them on my previous blog. This particular bar intrigued me as I wondered if you could successfully create these flavours in a chocolate bar. Reading the ingredients there is a tiny amount of Frankincense and Myrr oil (less than 1%) in the bar. Gold food dust has been sprinkled onto the bar to create a glittery surface, which you can see in this photo:
When I broke a bit of the chocolate off and put it to my nose I liked the scent, but couldn't put my finger on it, it was earthy and perhaps faintly festive, but I thought it was difficult to detect. I found the taste to be too subtle to say with any certainty that I could taste myrr or frankincense. Nevertheless it is delicious chocolate and you can easily tell that it is high quality. Although I didn't think that the flavour worked, the gold glitter certainly made the bar look Christmassy and it has beautiful wrapping, so this would make a lovely gift.
Clootie Dumpling Seasonal Ale
The Orkney Brewery produces a very fine selection of beers that are worth trying. One of my favourite Scottish beers is their Dark Island and you can read a review of this on a previous blog. The Clootie Dumpling is a seasonal edition and if you are not familiar with this Scottish pudding have a look at the rear label for an explanation:
The smell of this drink successfully captures that winter fruit pudding scent. It conjures up a boozy cake with delightful flavours like rum, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.
On the first few sips I thought that there is a subtle hint of festive tastes, but not noticeable enough that this could be picked up in a blind taste test. The taste that really comes through is bitterness, but pleasant and not overwhelming, and caramel. I found that the more I drank of it the more I was left with an aftertaste of those winter spices and it made me feel warm and nice and that's what you want from a Christmas drink. I do think the smell works better than the taste in capturing the essence of a seasonal pudding, but it is still a really delicious beer.
Have you tried any Christmas inspired Scottish products? Let me know in the comments below:
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.