Last winter I tried a Christmas themed bar for every week of December. This year I decided to wait until January to try a fall and winter themed bar (note my sarcasm). Even though had to I wait a while before sampling these bars, I’m excited for what I’m about the experience. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous! That dark green color with gold leaves look is perfect for gift-giving. This time I’m gifting myself 😉
I like that the bars have a detailed description on the back describing where some of the ingredients come from. In this case, the spices for the Fall Spice bar were from Burlap & Barrel which provides access to single origin spice varietals from around the world. The pumpkin spice scent was amazing! I’m experiencing a splitting headache as I’m writing and tasting, but the smell mentally brought me back to the fall season and a happier state of being. The flavor of pumpkin spice was strong but didn’t drown out the creamy flavor of milk chocolate. The spices gave a very light, crunchy texture to the otherwise smooth chocolate. The texture combination is pleasant. There was no flavor story unfolding here, but it’s not necessary. I’m forced to appreciate and savor the spice combo while reliving the fall season. I will have a hard time sharing this bar with anyone else!
When one of my coworkers asked me about a chocolate bar that contained pop rocks I had them try a few months ago (it was by Christopher Elbow), I made sure to bring in Winter’s Cheer the following day because amazingly this also contains pop rocks. This is my second time trying Winter’s Cheer since the first bar was very popular amongst my coworkers. This is beautiful bar to look at. The red dried cranberries are the perfect winter season color. The scent was a pleasant mixture of cranberries and chocolatey goodness. I immediately tasted tartness from the cranberries and as my bite melted, the pop rocks started sizzling on my tongue. Though the flavor of the cranberries was initially strong, it didn’t drown out the earthy dark chocolate. As the crunchy pop rocks started exploding, a minty coolness set in and there was some chewy texture from the dried cranberries. There’s a lot going on with different textures and flavors but it’s an exciting bar and very unique. I’ve never before had a chocolate bar that contained both pop rocks and berries.
Similar to Harper Macaw’s Bourbon Barrel Aged bar, the cacao beans for the Bordeaux bar are stored in French oak wine barrels for 3 months before going through the bean-to-bar process. The flavor notes on their website include candied fruit, wine grapes, herb, and oak. The scent was grape, fruity and very similar to Raaka’s Cabernet Sauvignon bar! The flavor was immediately and strongly grape-like, though as my bite melted I started tasting oak and some of the herb flavor. Chomping on the chocolate releases stronger herb and oak flavors. The end and aftertaste of my bite returned to grape and fruity flavors. For the longest time Raaka was my only favorite wine bar but now… I don’t know. There’s some competition, Raaka!
If I had to pick one favorite bar out of the three, I’d have a very difficult time. All three of these bars were like experiencing unique personalities and each of them had their own addictive quality. As a pumpkin spice lover, I immediately wanted to devour the Fall Spice bar. On my own. With no help. I had never experienced a bright, fruity and “poppy” experience liked the Winter Cheer’s bar before. Personally the Bordeaux bar is now in competition with Raaka’s Cabernet Sauvignon for which will be my top favorite wine infused chocolate bar. You know what, just try all three if you ever get the chance. I don’t know how long the Fall Spice and Winter’s Cheer bar will be available, but I at least hope the Bourdeaux will stay as a regular in Harper Macaw’s chocolate line. Now excuse me while I demolish the rest of Fall Spice.
Harper Macaw: Made in Washington, D.C.
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.