It’s not everyday that you receive an email solicitation from a plumbing manufacturer asking you to sample their new chocolate brandy. So when I received that exact offer from Kohler Co., I was way too curious to turn down a chance at Kohler Original Recipe Dark Chocolate Brandy.
Now, most people know Kohler as a Wisconsin-based maker of plumbing appliances. But it turns out that they have their very own chocolates business too, which makes this chocolate brandy slightly less random. They also own a five-star resort in Wisconsin called Destination Kohler, where this spirit debuted (these facts were confirmed by several Wisconsin expat friends). So yes, Kohler’s a whole thing out there. The spirit itself has been made by Milwaukee’s Central Standard Craft Distillery, and is infused with Kohler’s dark chocolates. It’s dark-reddish-brown in color, and has an earthy, chocolatey nose reminiscent of ground-up cocoa powder and nuts.
It’s surprisingly hot on the tongue: I could really taste the neutral spirit in it. It has a rich, round taste that’s very much like biting into dark chocolate. It’s a one-note flavor that is not particularly deep, but it also avoids the syrupy, saccharine pitfalls so common to spirits labeled “chocolate.” Basically, it tastes much more like chocolate than chocolate syrup, and that’s a good thing. It’s a solid, faithful translation of chocolate into spirit form.
I found it to be a fine replacement for Kahlua in a White Russian I made that night, and it goes well with some cream on the rocks, too. As of this time it’s only available in Wisconsin. But if you find yourself in the Badger State and are simultaneously craving something chocolatey and a drink, you know what to do.
— 35% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★