I’d like you to imagine a crisp dark exterior which when bitten yields to a smooth, firm filling. The chocolate shell is thick and delicious. I now explore the fondant. It is supremely smooth and delicately flavoured. What is that subtle taste? There’s just a hint of a rich porter and perhaps a touch of whisky? It is truly one of the loveliest Easter eggs I have ever come across.
I first came across Harviestoun beer at a food fair. On tasting the Old Engine Oil beer, I immediately knew it had to go in my Christmas pudding, and secondly, that the Harviestoun team definitely have a cheeky streak. Not only do they brew Engine Oil, but black oil “Ola Dubh” that has the distinction of being matured in Highland Park whisky casks and last but not least Bitter and Twisted pale ale. Great names! The beer flavoured Christmas puddings came out a treat too, so I knew I was going to be in for a treat when I received 6 little somethings for Easter to taste.
Chocolate, Beer (and Whisky)
It all came about from a tasting hosted by the brewery with the British Guild of Beer Writers paring chocolate with beer. (It must be a tough job being a beer writer ..)
Working with The Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh they paired:
- Old Engine Oil with an Ecuador Milk Chocolate (50% Arriba Cacao) – A sharp floral milk chocolate, light, clean and sweet, it created an engineered equilibrium of flavour when matched to the coffee and toast notes of the beer.
- Ola Dubh 12 with Light-Dark Peruvian Chocolate (68% white Peruvian cacao) – The chocolate’s bitter-mint and damp-wood tones worked with the beer’s refined peat and leather notes to create flavours that flowed together.
- Ola Dubh 18 with a Dark Madagascar Chocolate (75%) – A fruity, dark chocolate made from the cacao of Madagascar. The citrus fruit of the unique Madagascar cacao perfectly complimented the dark fruit of the Ola Dubh 18. This was the stand-out pairing!
By the way, the two different types of Ola Dubh are matured in barrels that had either 12 year or 18 year old Highland Park Whisky stored in them.
Limited Edition Eggs
Following on from the success of the tasting, an idea was born: Ola Dubh Easter Eggs.The clever folks at the Chocolate Tree and Harviestoun created a limited edition of only 40 boxes and a few lucky souls got the chance to taste the results.
The outer shell was made from a mixture of Criollo and Trinitario cacao giving it a beautiful crispness. The fondant in the centre contained Madagascar 75% cacao and Ola Dubh 18 resulting in an overall cocoa percentage of 72% and a glorious taste. As you can imagine, I am trying to persuade them to make more of these delicious eggs, and not just for Easter!.
Harviestoun Brewery – Craft brewing since 1983
First registered in 1983, this is Harviestoun Brewery’s 30th Birthday Year! Over the past 3 decades, they have brewed a fair few pints, many of which have broken new ground (or at least taken the road less travelled). Ola Dubh, our award-winning Old Engine Oil aged in Highland Park whisky casks, is a point in case.
The Chocolate Tree – Artisan chocolatiers specialising in bean to bar chocolate
The Chocolate Tree are artisan chocolatiers specialising in bean to bar chocolate, hand crafted chocolates, organic chocolate bars, continental baking and Italian ice cream. Based in East Lothian & Edinburgh, they work in small batches only using the finest natural ingredients. They believe in offering the finest in ethical chocolate at the best value possible, providing artisan quality that doesn’t cost the earth.