Back in the day, I’d thought I’d save something special to taste for my 500th tasting note and then write something really thoughtful and penetrating about it. Oh well, c’est la vie.
After finishing off the rest of my Adagio chocolate honeybush sample, I decided to give the vanilla a go.
I didn’t smell vanilla when I opened the little tin. In fact, I wasn’t sure I smelled anything other than honeybush until I opened up the plain honeybush for a comparison sniff. There’s definitely a difference, a stronger scent to the vanilla version, but it’s kind of a sharp, tangy smell that isn’t what I’m used to in vanilla anything. After steeping, the aroma is very herbal but it’s kind of a stretch to find the vanilla. I wonder if my sample is too old to have held the vanilla scent/flavor? Possibly, though the chocolate wasn’t.
There is a subtle vanilla flavor but mostly I taste the honey-sweetness of the honeybush. It’s as though the vanilla brought out the sweet side of the honeybush and the chocolate brought out the woody side. Because I prefer sweet to woody, I’d expect to prefer the vanilla version to the chocolate, but I actually like the chocolate version slightly better. It just seems to have more flavor overall.
In any case, an interesting experiment in self-education about the many things one can do with honeybush, but not something I’ll return to.