Back in April, I reviewed TCHO’s Nutty chocolate. I was initially confused by and ultimately averse to the bar, as for the first time in my chocolate-tasting life I found myself confronted with too-strong flavours of cast iron, cardboard, and wood lacquer. I was really disappointed by this, as I felt the chocolate had potential yet overshot its flavour-marks to an unpleasant degree.
Soon after posting my review, I received an email from Cash Shurley, TCHO’s IT Director, thanking me for my thoughts and offering me samples of the reformulated Nutty and Fruity chocolates. At first it seemed like the universe was not on my side, for after replying in the affirmative I was told that TCHO couldn’t actually send the chocolate overseas. Thank heavens for a generous American friend of mine, who was able to act as a chocolate middle-[wo]man. The upshot of such generosity (on the part of both TCHO and my friend) was that, on my 23rd birthday, I became the recipient of a delightful and exciting package of TCHO chocolate goodies*.
I was expecting simply two sample-sized bars of chocolate, so imagine my surprise when I opened the package to find:
While I was tempted to dig into everything at once, I decided that the proper thing to do would be to review the new Nutty chocolate first. Mind you, I unwrapped the little fella with no small amount of trepidation. You see, I pride myself on being utterly honest when it comes to chocolate. Therefore while this bar came to me free-of-charge, I absolutely wasn’t going to give it a positive rap simply for that reason. I feared having to talk ill of TCHO all over again.
TCHO Nutty 2.0
I have to get one thing off my chest, and it has nothing to do with chocolate. Every time I see the Nutty 2.0 name, I can’t help thinking of the iSnack 2.0 debacle, which as an Australian was a very upsetting moment in history for me (actually, I just found it all hilarious). But putting that thought aside so as to taste the chocolate free of bias, I have decided that TCHO’s reformulated Nutty bar is…
Yes, I’m relieved to say that the Nutty 2.0 has managed to tone down the most aggressive and unappealing notes of the original Nutty bar, whilst retaining enough of said original’s unique flavours to ensure the bar is a fascinating example of chocolate diversity.
Like the first Nutty bar, this chocolate has an appealingly rich aroma of dark and earthy chocolate, with strong malt notes sneaking in along the way.
The chocolate is strong and intense without being bitter, as there’s a goodly helping of sweetness to balance out the bar’s peat and cocoa powder flavours. In terms of nuttiness, I picked up some walnut, but what I was most impressed with was that this chocolate had none of the unpleasant cast iron notes of the former yet still offered up hints of fresh wood and wood lacquer. Somehow the notes of peat and lacquer are subtle enough that, when blended with the chocolate’s underlying rich sweetness, the overall taste is not only pleasant but delicious.
I think TCHO’s Nutty 2.0 would be a brilliant option for a chocolate tasting party, as it showcases flavours that aren’t found in mainstream chocolates. Even in the field of upmarket and artisan chocolates, earthy and fruity flavours are easy to find whereas chocolates that render lacquer and walnuts appealing are few and far between. Unlike TCHO’s first Nutty bar, I’d definitely be keen to eat this one again. Those of you living in America – hop to it!
* In the same package from my friend, I received some equally-exciting chocolate samples from another company (as well as five packets of Kettle Corn and two necklaces from the lovely lady herself). Make sure to keep checking back for that big reveal, as well as the rest of my TCHO haul!