Fans claim that the flavor of Sapporo’s Chocolat Brewery Bitter beer fits the winter palate quite well (although some disagree), but the brew loses points for being happoshu instead of proper beer. Suntory’s Chocolate Sparkling soda was surprisingly drinkable, but the sensory equivalent of a trompe-l’œil for the tongue: How could something that goes down like Perrier taste like a Cadbury? Clear as club-soda with an equally clean finish, Chocolate Sparkling lacks the viscous, creamy texture one associates with chocolate beverages.
For a more high-end choco-booze hybrid, Suntory has teamed up with Lotte to create chocolates using its Hakushu and Yamazaki brands of single malt scotch.
The sheer number and variety of short-run and region-specific flavors is astounding, and worthy of cataloging. So stock up this winter, but if you’re one of those who justifies your sweet tooth via recent health benefits, you’re out if luck: Word now is that raw chocolate beans are the way to go, so I’ll take that Raspberry-Passionfruit Kit Kat off your hands, thank you very much. (JapanPulse)