I couldn’t tell you where I bought this Amatller Extra Fine 70% dark chocolate bar from, but I know it was a good few months ago. Due to all this fine chocolate working its way to me over the last few months it just got left behind like an ugly puppy at a dog sanctuary. Unfortunately for bar, the last Amatller I tried was the Ecuador Single Origin 85% which was pretty damn good. But this one, well it just didn’t cut the mustard.
I know the packaging is nice and engaging, I know there’s a whole heap of information on there if you were a chocolate data fiend, but the taste, texture and aroma just weren’t inspiring. With the aroma it just smelled too much of chocolate – if it is at all possible, it just had the distinct aroma of hot chocolate. There were no acidic notes, nothing fruity or dynamic. It was just very one dimensional. In fact, if you do let the aroma settle on your nose then perhaps it’s the archetypal sweet vanilla that dominates affairs, and which probably gives it the sweet aroma.
In terms of texture it was, indeed, “fine”. But was dry with it. In fact it reminded me very much of the Nestle Extra Fine bar I reviewed last year and perhaps the Original Beans Beni Wild Harvest 68% which I reviewed just last month. For me, I like chocolate to turn moist in the mouth, to tantalise and excite. This chocolate simply didn’t.
With the appearance of the bar itself, it was also average. The mold was different but I found it a bit gimmicky and not really the sort of design that a sophisticated bar of gourmet chocolate would have.
In terms of the flavour, it was similarly one dimensional. The chocolate flavours were kept in the background behind the sweetness and the vanilla. It tasted like an introductory bar of chocolate that “beginners” (without wanting to sound patronising) would get to use as a base to compare the excellent bars of chocolate that are on offer. I’d implore people to try this bar and review it against a Chapon, Valrhona, Beschle, Amano, Amedei, Mast Brothers, Michel Cluizel and even (I don’t mean that in a bad way) some of the bars that Artisan du Chocolat do from traditionally non-traditional cocoa growing nations.
This bar tastes like an undercoat of white paint on which you’d express your true creativity with other options. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was bland, just average. It just makes me look forward to the Mast Brothers Fleur de Sel bar I’ve got lined up for tomorrow even more.