Vosges goes all out as far as wanting to be a classy brand, labeling their product haut-chocolat while majorly pimping the founder's past at El Bulli. Hey, it's marketing, and why not?
We picked up their Smoke and Stout Caramel bar from Chocolate Apothecary, a choice largely based on the "stout" part. Here they have mixed in Rogue's Chocolate Stout with smoked salt and caramel, all draped in a 70% cacao. The back of the package features some tips on how to properly taste the bar. Nothing too shocking there, but a nice touch all the same.
This is a pretty damn flavorful bar of chocolate, possibly a bit too flavorful for some. The aforementioned mix of ingredients turns into a sticky molasses, where the hint of stout pops out through a smokey caramel flavor. The salt is noticeable, but doesn't do much to cut down on the primary sharp flavors. It's up to the individual if that's a good or a bad thing, and this is certainly an acquired taste. We enjoyed it, and you might too.
Vosges's bars aren't a cheap pleasure -- somewhere in the $6 range -- but the Smoke and Stout isn't exactly something you knock back like a Mars bar either. It's one you can pick up and enjoy over a couple of days.