mudcub (mudcub) wrote,

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Review of Wen Chocolates

Happy birthday to me! I had a wonderful weekend, mostly thanks to all the great people that celebrated it with me. I really enjoyed seeing paksen, gomeza, qingting, asweetbri, heypyro, cobob, and of course thornyc. It really meant a lot to gather with friends and family for my 40th birthday. Thanks again everybody!

Anyway, my brother gave me a present from Wen Chocolates in Colorado (note: website is down at the moment). I ate the whole box before I got back to San Jose. If you have a spare afternoon in Denver, you can have fun at the REI, a hamburger at beat poet Neal Cassady's old haunt My Brother's Bar, the Savory Spice Shop, Paris on the Platte coffee shop, the Denver Zine Library, and Wen Chocolates... all on Platte Street. I didn't make it there last weekend (sorry, Thor!) but I'll make sure to save a day the next time I'm back in town.


Kaffir Lime
“A subtle lime flavor derived from infusing dark chocolate with Makrut tree leaves (commonly called kaffir lime).”

Not much lime, but a really refreshing spicy chocolate. I wanted another one right away.

Egyptian Chamomile
“Fragrant and earthy Egyptian Chamomile flowers are melded with dark chocolate to create this luscious confection”

So subtle. I should have eaten this one first. Very sophisticated... may be the most accomplished chocolate in the batch.

“Dark chocolate infused with Indian, Ceylon, and Chinese black tea and then delicately combined with orange, tangerine, and grapefruit citrus profiles. Each truffle is lightly dusted with edible gold powder.”

Ooh, grainy. Which is understandable given all the spices in it. But it makes me wonder if the chocolate was overcooked. Or maybe there was no chocolate in it at all! So many things going on here that maybe they forgot to add the truffle itself.

Basil Hayden Truffle
“Luscious dark chocolate infused with Basil Hayden Bourbon.”

Awesome. Just a hint of alcohol... not too much to turn it into one of those cheap novelty "filled" chocolates you see in stores during the holidays. This is something I could pair with a homemade cookie and feel like I was serving my guests a full dessert.

Mint Fennel
“A delicate blend of mint and fennel in milk chocolate.”

Really? Fennel. Really? This isn't a joke? Because fennel doesn't really work well with chocolate. At least not in this pairing with mint. The result tastes like several candy bars melted together and then re-served.

California Bay Leaf
“The pungent flavor of California Bay Leaf melded with creamy milk chocolate.”

Yea for California! This one tasted like Christmas for some reason. Dark smoky flavors on top of a quality chocolate. What could be better?

Pear Hazelnut
“The crisp taste of pears, delicately blended with hazelnut puree and milk chocolate.“

Nice and mellow... not a fruit flavor as much as a complex aftertaste. A little texture, a little crunchy, and an instant one of my favorites from this box.

“White chocolate infused aromatic with lime, spiced rum, and white pepper and topped with toasted coconut and lime zest.”

Oh, white chocolate! Ah such interesting flavors... lime, rum. Stuff that goes better with while than with dark chocolate. But I'd rather have a good milk chocolate truffle instead.

Oshen (No link)
"Orange cinnamon, and honey"

Exactly as advertised. A light, refreshing. Ok, ok, the orange was a bit *too* cloying for me. But then again I'm not an orange fan. A great and thoughtful combination of three ingredients.

Bananas Foster (No link)
"A rich melding of William's Wicked caramel and milk chocolate ganache with toasted Saigon cinnamon topped off with a banana chip."

OMG! I love bananas foster! Unfortunately, this chocolate doesn't taste like that. None of the needed rum flavor, and not enought banana. But on the other hand, I love the little bit of cinnamon, and the real banana chip on top. Those touches made it something I'd order again, for sure!

Mint Julep (No link)
"Milk chocolate infused with bourbon and mint; then topped with candied mint leaves"

Wow, this was nothing I'd ever had before. A bit took much like a truffle covered in altoids. I love mint-flavored chocolate (for example, See's used to make a candy bar that I lament in its passing). But bonus points for some crunch as well as refreshing mint in the same bite.

Molotov Pineapple (No link)
"Dark chocolate, pineapple, and a complex mix of peppers, with hints of rum and brown sugar meld together to create a complex and surprising taste sensation."

Here's where I have a problem with too many flavors. Either it's a contest to see who can recognize the ingredients like a game show ("I taste paprika. I TASTE PAPRIKA!") or too many things spoil the broth. In this case, the resulting candy was rather flavorless, with a slight burning sensation from the pepper. Where was the pineapple? Did I fail to guess all 11 herbs and spices? 

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