Black Mountain Gold Chocolate is an unparalleled chocolate experience waiting to be discovered in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park.
Jules James is the Master Chocolatier and founder of the Crickhowell based business, which has firmly stamped the small Welsh town on the world's chocolate map.
I could go into the boring details of the business and it's history but you can do that yourself by going to the Black Mountain Gold Chocolate Website.
Instead I shall introduce you to what is simply a magical experience and I must apologise in advance for my enthusiasm regarding this product.
It was last year that I first encountered Black Mountain Gold at the Abergavenny Food Festival after my family dragged me over to sample some of their chocolate.
I declined a sample because I am not a great fan of chocolate, however to pacify my daughter now salivating in full chocolate craving mode I decided to buy her a bar of milk chocolate and be done with it.
As we walked off a piece of chocolate was shoved into my faceÂ by said daughter accompanied by a scream of "Dad you must try this chocolate".
I eventually gave in and tried a piece of Black Mountain Gold …… and I fervently wish I had not.
The reason for wishing I had not tasted the chocolate is simple, from that moment I became a Chocolate addict.
This was like all my taste buds finding their Shangri-La, I was not sampling chocolate, I was having a full on experience up comparable with with my first beer or sunset under the influence of hallucinogens whilst listening to Pink Floyd.
An about turn was made back towards the Black Mountain Gold Chocolate stand where I parted with some serious money.
What was going on? I don't spend money on chocolate yet here I was more than happy to part with my ill gotten gains for another fix of this ambrosia.
OK I may be going a little over the top but the above is true. But beingÂ just a little colourful in descriptionÂ is vitally necessary toÂ convey the quality of this chocolate.
Just before Christmas I decided that there would be only one place I would buy my Christmas gifts from so I made a visit to Jules and his factory/shop and I was not disappointed when I arrived.
It was a cold, snow covered day in December when I arrived at the most charming courtyard in Crickhowell where Black Mountain Chocolate is located and one of the most beautiful Christmas scenes you could ever imagine but I was cold and needed warming up.
So before making my order of truffles and customised chocolates, I decided to try a hot chocolate and it is at this point I must pause for a moment because I must warn you I am about to go very colourful again in my descriptions but to say the hot chocolate was nice or stupendous would be like describing the great pyramid at Giza as 'not a bad engineering effort all things considered'.
My mouth was bathed in a velvet coating of chocolate (yes we have all heard of chocolate being described as velvety but this is on a different level entirely) that was not too sweet nor bitter it was as if the optimum experience of liquid chocolate.
One hot chocolate would not be enough but I was there for a reason and that was to purchase Christmas gifts for friends and family so Master Chocolatier Jules guided me through the menu of truffles and impressive chocolate designs.
I discovered that I have a favourite chocolate,Â the dark Chocolate caramel and sea salt offering cannot be described in words because words are not adequate a medium of expressing the quality of this product.
But is Black Mountain Gold really that good? Well as I said I was not a chocolate fan and I am still not a chocolate fan outside of Black Mountain Gold.
The proof in this is simple….before Black Mountain Gold I did not enjoy chocolate and I enjoyed Dark chocolate even less yet here I am ordering boxes of dark chocolate truffles to impress my loved ones and eat myself.
Another great thing is I no longer have to think for a moment where to get presents from…..Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's day etc ….. I just go to Jules and he does the rest ….. nothing is too big or challenging for him (I am sure Jules could build a house out of chocolate if requested).
The reason for the quality of chocolate is simple, Jules only uses the finest quality in raw materials and knows what to do with them.
I would liken Jules to some great chocolate wizard at work in this most quaint of factories but this man is more Merlin than Professor Dumbledore.
If you're in the Brecon Beacons looking for places of interest, searching for a gift or someone who appreciates good food and chocolate then Black Mountain Gold is a must visit.
I give Black Mountain Gold a well deserved 10/10.