Sonia thought this chocolate bar was from Botswana.
It sounds silly, but if you don't read the type carefully, the two words are only a couple letters off, so it's an easy mistake to make. And I mean, how many of us really use "boatswain" in our daily lexicon? Not I, certainly. Indeed, I had to Google it. It's the dude that maintains the equipment on a ship, apparently. What he has to do with stout and/or chocolate, I'm not sure.
Now, I've had chocolate stouts before. But this here's a stout chocolate. And I'm a stout man. And by that, I mean both that my body type is somewhat thick currently, as well as the fact that I do enjoy a good pint of stout or porter from time to time. It's a double entendre. Get it? Funny? No? No you don't get it, or no you don't find it funny? Whatever.
Anyway, on with the review. This chocolate is dark. 70% cacao, as we've seen quite often before at Trader Joe's. It apparently goes well with stout, coconut, black sea salt, and bacon, among other things. And at least in this case, Sonia thinks it's the perfect choice. I always prefer sweeter chocolates. If people aren't scolding me, telling me my chocolate isn't really chocolate, then I probably don't like it that much. Except in this case, there's a vague stout-ness about the product that keeps it interesting—but overall, it's just too dark for my tastes. Yes, I know that stout tends to be bitter as well, but somehow that works for me. I like my beer bitter and my chocolate sugary. But I'm weird like that.
Even the caramel here is dark and slightly bitter. It seems thinner than most caramels, as far as consistency goes. It's comparable to the caramel in the cara cara caramels in that sense. The thinness makes it even more messy, since it wants to run out of the chocolate bar quickly—almost more syrupy than caramelly.
The bar is made of eight big squares of chocolate. It has a very low profile. I want to say it's less than an eighth of an inch thick, but I don't have a ruler on me, so...don't quote me on that. It's thin enough that most bites will dissolve on your tongue in short order.
Sonia loves the flavor and would buy it again, although she claims she doesn't taste much stout here. Four stars from her. I think the way the subtle stout flavor blends with the chocolate is the most unique and noteworthy aspect of this product, but it's just not really my thing when it comes to desserts. Three stars from me.
Bottom line: 7 out of 10.