The Good: Good flavor, Wonderful aroma, Decent quantity, Good ingredients
The Bad: Comparatively expensive, Less distinct flavor for the caramel than one might hope
The Basics: Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares are decent, but the bourbon flavor is executed more as an aroma than a fully-developed flavor in the caramel.
As autumn fades to winter and all sorts of new products are released, I find there are a few I am still catching up on. When it comes to chocolates, the last year or two has been dominated by blends of chocolate and caramel and for Ghirardelli, I was surprised to find there was an offering I missed. Girardelli produced Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares and given how much my wife loves caramel and how much I love dark chocolate, it seemed like a great fit for us. The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares are good, smell wonderful, but have a less distinct flavor than I might have hoped for. I don't drink alcohol, but the bourbon scent of the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares was potent and inviting, but it did not translate to the flavor of the caramel in any noticeable way. The result is a chocolate caramel blend that is flavorful without completely living up to its promised potential.
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares are one and a half inch squares of chocolate that are about three-eighths inches thick. Each of the squares comes individually wrapped in a metallic brown-orange (persimmon) wrapper. It is worth noting that while I usually rail against the environmental impact of such things, it is hard to imagine Ghirardelli chocolate squares not wrapped. This keeps each one clean, unmelted and intact.
Each chocolate square is a seamless square that is essentially a chocolate envelope sealing in a caramel filling which is quite yummy. In this form, the 6.3 oz. bag, the individually-wrapped chocolate squares are packaged together in a thick foil paper bag. This size has twelve squares and the thick foil paper bag does little to protect the squares. The bag is not resealable, though this matters very little considering that the chocolate squares do not go bad as they are individually wrapped.
One of these bags tends to run in the $5.00 range. These are not cheap candies!
Ease Of Preparation
These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the bag and then opening one of the foil wrappers around the actual chocolate square one wishes to eat. There is no grand secret to eating Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares. I have, for example, garnished ice cream with these squares from time to time. The chocolate flavor is powerful against more bland flavors, like vanilla ice cream!
The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel squares smell strongly of chocolate and bourbon. The slightly acrid smell from the chocolate is the perfect embodiment of the alcohol! There is nothing in the aroma that insinuates caramel, though the blend of the alcohol scent and the chocolate scent is very inviting!
In the mouth, the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares are sweet and chocolatey. The chocolate is dark and flavorful, without even a hint of being waxy like some mass produced chocolates are. The chocolate is sweeter than many dark chocolates, without the dryness of exceptionally dark chocolates. The caramel is sweet and slightly salty, without hints of a more sophisticated flavor to it. The chocolate overwhelms much of the caramel flavor, though the caramel sweetens the dark chocolate some. The caramel flavor is good, but not overly distinct.
The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares finish dry, as one might expect from a dark chocolate. The mildly bitter flavor does not endure in the mouth for very long after the last of it is consumes.
These are candy, so they are not expected to be overly nutritious. The Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares are not nearly as bad as they could be. The primary ingredients are sugar, unsweetened chocolate and corn syrup. There is nothing unpronounable in these candies, though there are a couple of preservatives near the bottom of the ingredient list.
A serving of the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares is considered one square. From a single square, one takes in 70 calories, including 4.5 grams of fat. There is no cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, and 1 gram protein, but no vitamins or minerals (save 4% RDA of Iron) in these chocolate squares. There are 9 grams of carbohydrates in each Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate square.
These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are produced on the same equipment that peanuts pass over. They are, however, kosher.
The bags of these Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares remain fresh for quite some time. The one my wife bought us for Thanksgiving had a July 31, 2017 expiration date. One assumes that if they are kept in a cool, dry environment they will not melt or go bad. Given that they are individually wrapped in a very sealed package, it is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and refreezing.
As for cleanup, I applaud those who actually throw the wrappers away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter. Outside that, there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. In that case, it is likely one would need to wash their hands. If these chocolate squares melt into most fabrics, they will stain. Getting them to melt is surprisingly easy.
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel chocolate squares are very good, but if it were not for the dark chocolate coating, the caramel would make them decidedly average. As it is, they are better than most, standard, chocolate caramel treats without truly living up to a well-rounded bourbon and caramel flavor.
For other Ghirardelli chocolate squares reviews, please check out:
Dark Chocolate Blueberry
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my Food & Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.