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February 10 2011

Beer and Sake Chocolate For Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day soon approaching, which in Japan means women buying chocolate for men, (thanks to some genius marketing by a chocolate manufacturer many years ago), the shelves are being stacked with chocolate, chocolate recipes, Royce/Sapporo chocolate beer and this year I found shelves of alcohol filled chocolates.

Sake, Whiskey, Beer and Shochu Chocolate

Sake, Whiskey, Beer and Shochu Chocolate

Sake Chocolate in Loft, Osaka

Sake Chocolate in Loft, Osaka

There are the usual whiskey and brandy filled chocolates that have been around for ages, but also some new and interesting additions.
Shochu chocolate, sake chocolate, beer bonbons, and continuing the Whiskey Highball craze in Japan, whiskey highball chocolates too.

I decided to try the beer bonbons as although some chocolate beers are pretty good, the idea of a beer-flavoured chocolate just sounded too weird not to try.
And it also had the great tagline

Especially selected for your brilliant days with my favorite song, grace and elegance abound.

Beer Bonbons

Beer Bonbons



I wish I hadn’t. It actually has some liquid inside, and the ingredients state it does contain beer (it also has 2.9%abv), but inside was some weird bitter, fizzy liquid that just didn’t go with the (also bitter) chocolate outside. I can’t face throwing them away as it’s a waste, so I’m steadily working my way though them, one every couple of days. (Update: My dad was recently in Japan, and he tried them and said they were “Ok”, so he’s taken them back to England with him).

Gekkeikan Sake Chocolate

Gekkeikan Sake Chocolate


The other chocolates I tried were from Gekkeikan Sake Brewery in Kyoto who make some good sakes. Turns out they makes some good chocolate too. These were more like the normal, expensive kind of chocolates you cna buy around Valentines day, no liquid inside, just soft, chewy cubes of very tasty chocolate. I didn’t get any sake taste, but apparently it is in the ingredients list (there’s also a warning about not letting kids or pregnant women eat these, although no alcohol % was on the packaging).

Whiskey Highball Bonbons

Whiskey Highball Bonbons


These are the Whiskey Highball Bonbons with what looks like a Suntory Tory character rip-off “adaption” on the box. This is Scotch Whiskey (don’t know the brand) and carbonated water, according to the packaging, but to be honest pretty much just tasted like “alcohol” and dark chocolate. Not a big fan of this one.

Sake Bonbons

Sake Bonbons

These were Sake Bonbons, made I believe by the same company that made the Whiskey Highball Bonbons, and to be honest I’m beginning to think I just don’t like Bonbons. The sake in these is a Daiginjo apparently, so should be pretty good. However, although it was better than the Highball bonbons, I wasn’t a big fan of these either. Although my wife liked them.

Now these win hands down on packaging. Made by Gekkeikan Sake Brewery in Kyoto again, like the sake chocolate near the top, (Gekkeikan seem to have made quite a few chocolates this year, they’re really making a go of this alcohol chocolate thing), it comes in a cool “fake” bamboo cup, nicely wrapped up in gauze, like you often find sake bottles presented in.

Nihonshu Chocolate

Nihonshu Chocolate

Sake Chocolate Box

Sake Chocolate Box

The chocolate themselves are pretty nice too, crispy shell with crystallised sugar in with the sake. These rank second in my opinion with the non-bonbon sake chocolates from Gekkeikan I tried earlier.

Suffice to say it seems I’m not a big fan of alcohol infused chocolate. I’d try one, not like it, offer it round and it would get a more favourable response.

Still, I really liked the Gekkeiken non-bonbon chocolates (at the top of the page), and even their bonbon version (in the fake bamboo pot) was pretty good.

3 Comments »

  1. Nice article about valentine's day. It is a different valentines day in japan only.because the chocolate manufacturers will be happy on that day.

    what a huge gift for valentines day in japan ?

    The short answer is beer and chocolate.

    Comment by elavarasu — March 20, 2011 @ 7:00 am

  2. Beer and Chocolate! What a winning combination! I would love Valentines beer in the same manner as <a rel="follow" href="http://www.lindt-shop.co.uk/seasonal-chocolates/valentines.html">Valentines chocolate – that would be epic. Fingers crossed my girlfriend makes the link!

    Comment by Jim Trent — January 11, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  3. Chocolate is the perfect gift in any country, we all love chocolate and if they give it away with a nice and well presented wrapper it is a good gift

    Comment by Chocolate bonbons — March 24, 2017 @ 7:07 pm

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