A WOAP event that was such a hit, there just had to be another one, and thankfully for all, there was. I had unsuccessfully tried to get tickets for the original event, so I was overjoyed to see round two advertised. Hosted by Luke of The Chocolate Bar at Leeds Street’s Six Barrel Soda, it was a night where about 20 of us got together to taste and learn about a variety of different craft chocolates (their origin, production and route to their final flavour) over as many sodas, delicately concocted by Six Barrel Soda.
Of the 10 chocolates that we sampled and discussed, I found myself a major fan of the chocolate with a point of difference – for example Ocho’s “Beekeeper” (Dunedin) which was a dark chocolate with amaranth puffs, resembling honey on toast, or Wellington Chocolate Factory’s “Great War Bar” which was a milk chocolate bar with a coating of rolled oats, coconut chips and all that is an Anzac biscuit. There was a mixture of local and foreign chocolates, with my overall favourite being Hogarth Craft Chocolate’s “Gianduia” (Nelson) which was a hazelnut blend and literally melted in your mouth.
In terms of pairing with the soda however, I think the best match was “Madagascar” (The Smooth Chocolator of Melbourne) which was fruity and had tones of plum and raspberry, with Six Barrel’s Raspberry and Lemon soda, which was an initial sweet blast that faded rapidly to provide a refreshing aftertaste.
Somewhat surprisingly, my favourite individual soda was just the plain old “Creaming Soda”. Vanilla flavoured, it smells like flavours and was so unexpectedly delicious that I just had to go back for more. My second favourite was “Ginger” which had such a crisp, clean taste, but I love ginger so much that it was hardly surprising. The great thing about events like these is that it enables you to try flavours that you may not normally if you were only buying one. I, for one, would never have chosen “Creaming Soda” when other delicious flavours such as “Orange and Dandelion” (unexpectedly bland) and my usual go-to of “Cherry and Pomegranate” (suddenly too sweet) are on offer. Tasting events allow you to really compare the flavours and develop your palette, as well as having the opportunity to just indulge in some tasty chocolate and soda.