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Sloane’s 53% Luxury Winter Blend Vegan Hot Chocolate Review

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The nights are beginning to draw in earlier, and naturally I'm looking to my hot chocolate collection to cheer me up. Then I spot a pouch of Sloane's Posh Hot Chocolate, this time in a 53% Winter Blend.

How can I say no to a hot chocolate that promises warming festive flavours at my time of need?


Packaging

This 150g red pouch is the little brother to the 400g drums of hot chocolate. These six-portion bags are a great way to test different flavours without committing to a larger investment. They're also a handy gift size for friends and family, so ideal for introducing relatives to different variations on hot chocolate. Easy Christmas presents anyone?

Sloane's 53% Luxury Winter Blend Vegan Hot Chocolate pouch
A simple red pouch with a clear window to see the beads inside

The simple red pouch has a push-close seal along the top and a clear window to see the hot chocolate beads inside. The label is glued onto the pouch, and features a tamper tab at the top of the rear side.

The front of the label simply shows the Sloane's Hot Chocolate logo and the Winter Blend 53% product name, along with a couple of snowflake graphics.

On the rear is a brief snippet on what makes this a winter blend (it's a combination of dark chocolate, cinnamon, and ginger by the way). The ingredients and nutritional information sits to the right.

Sloane's 53% Luxury Winter Blend Vegan Hot Chocolate ingredients:
Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, soy lecithin, natural vanilla flavouring. Cocoa solids: 53% minimum.

The overall sugar content in these vegan hot chocolate pearls is 38%.


Sloane's 53% Luxury Winter Blend Vegan Hot Chocolate Review

Opening the pouch up, the waft of cinnamon and ginger is unmistakable. It's a very potent aroma that can be quite overwhelming in large doses. Make no mistake, this one is seriously punchy. The initial aroma is quite aggressive and harsh, and is less 'warming festive spices' and more 'cold and spicy'.

Sloane's 53% Luxury Winter Blend Vegan Hot Chocolate beads
53% dark chocolate beads with cinnamon and ginger spices

I crafted a batch as per the recommended recipe - that's 25g of beads to 200ml of hot semi-skimmed, oat, or soya milk (I chose cow's milk).

A cup of Sloane's Luxury Winter Blend Hot Chocolate
A freshly made mug of Sloane's Luxury Winter Blend Hot Chocolate

The aroma of the steaming mug of hot chocolate was equally as punchy as it was in the bag. On tasting, it was the same story again.

The ginger and cinnamon spend a lot of their time battling it out in this hot chocolate, which is quite distracting. In a winter blend, I want to taste warming, comforting Christmas spices, not experience a fist-fight between spices.

Instead, I get a fiery battle between cinnamon and ginger and neither seem happy the other is there. This tussle plays against a mildly bitter dark chocolate backdrop, with the semi-skimmed milk at least helping to tone down that bitterness a little.

The texture is grainy too, presumably from the inclusion of spices, which is noticeable throughout the drink but mostly towards the end.

Overall, this wasn't a pouch of hot chocolate I enjoyed. While the ginger and cinnamon spices are punchy and put front and centre, they need something extra to help soften them. Perhaps that's a different base (a milk chocolate perhaps for extra creaminess and sweetness) or the addition of more festive flavours or spices, such as nutmeg or orange.

Sloane's 53% Luxury Winter Blend Vegan Hot Chocolate Review

RRP: £3.00 | Sloane's | Shop now°

Winter Blend sees 53% dark chocolate mixed with the festive flavours of cinnamon and ginger. The spices are quite punchy but the dark chocolate is almost too bitter for them.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 2.8

Where to Buy Online?

You can buy the 150g pouch directly via the Sloane's website here, or opt for the larger 400g drum here. It's also available at the Artisan General Store here, and on Amazon here°.

Do you prefer spicy hot chocolates around Christmas? Leave a comment below on what makes the perfect hot chocolate for you.

Disclosure: I purchased 150g pouch of 53% Winter Blend Vegan Hot Chocolate from Sloane's for £3. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own.

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