The previous Hazel Mountain we reviewed didn't hit the mark, so now we're trying out their version made with strawberry and cardamom, which also allows for a wonderful decorated finish to the top side of the chocolate and would make it look fantastic on the shelves of a retail store.
This is a much more enjoyable chocolate than the previous. The flavours are much sharper and more typical of a rustic approach that often you find with bean to bar makers. It may be a touch incongruous with Venezuelan chocolate which so often produces fantastic fruity, nutty profiles. With this it's more about the acidity than any soft cream notes.
The strawberry is partnered with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger and collectively they provide a wonderful chorus of flavours. None dominate, but work together to create a balance of flavours that are very much enjoyable.
You could criticise the chocolate because none of the flavours are dominate. When chocolate makers use these sorts of spices often they aim for one to take the lead, but with this one it appears that the flavours were combined to produce an utterly new one that just rehash the individual flavours - and we love the chocolate more because of it.