Hotel Chocolat Dark Milk Hacienda Iara 70%

As you may know, Hotel Chocolat produces a wide variety of chocolates. Their newest line is “Super Milks.” To most chocophiles, these have been known for years as dark milks. Slitti, in Italy, was one of the first companies to entertain our palates with their 70% Latte Nero, and other chocolatiers soon followed suit.

These beans, from coastal Ecuador, were harvested in 2012, roasted for 40 minutes, and conched 72 hours. That leaves the chocolate with an incredibly velvety, addictive texture, all the better to convey its dense cocoa profile of rich nuttiness rounded out with softer floral notes.

One of their goals was to produce a lower sugar chocolate bursting with flavor and seductive in texture. Half a bar (35 grams) contains only 9 grams of sugar, far less than most milk chocolates.

You may have already read about the Arriba Nacional bean in Ecuador being pushed out in favor of the less toothsome CCN-51 variety. Hotel Chocolat used the Arriba here. In addition, they pay their Saint Lucia farmers triple the going rate, while sharing expertise on improving quality and yield. All this in the hopes of building long-term relationships.

I sampled a number of their new super milk line and liked this one the best. It is definitely an indulgence; especially, if you live outside London. Only last month there was a Hotel Chocolat store in Boston, but it recently closed.

If Santa thinks you were nice this year maybe he’ll dispatch a sweet little elf to get you some Hacienda Iara. At 2.5 ounces, it’s easy to scarf them down in a couple of sittings—or faster—so, you will want a few.


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