So far I’ve only tried the Artisan du Chocolat Jamaica bar and no other. In fact I’m not aware of any other bar of available in the UK using Jamaican cocoa. I know Bonnat do a bar biut I’ve not managed to get myself any yet. So I was very excited to find out that earlier in the year I did actually buy the Amedei Jamaica Single Origin Bar as I sorted out my chocolate collection last week.
I can’t remember when Amedei changed their packaging but I feel it must have been in the past 12 months and certainly some time after I reviewed the Amedei Porcelana but I’m in two minds if I like it or not. On the one hand I like the wrap around feel like a good tight, snug dressing-gown, where if you’re lucky opening it can reveal something quite delightful. Well on the otherhand it does offer a less substantive feel that a solid box gives – as is the case with Beschle and Amano.
Inside the thin card wrapper is the bar which is contained within a paper-coated metal wrapper than just reminded of the cheap choc-ices my Mother used to by from Tesco. Its an unfortunate association as this bar tasted a million times better. It was, however, a nice departure from the traditional foil wrapping.
What was most striking, though, was the jam-packed, humdinger of an aroma. This bar doesn’t pull any punches. There’s honey, red wine, dates, walnuts, lemons, limes – its a jamboree of different notes. It reminds me very much of strong mulled-wine. I believe that this bar has as strong an aroma of any bar of reviewed recently. Pungent would be too strong a word as its more caclulated and subtle than that, but its certainly not for those that like undramatic chocolate.
Flavour-wise I’d say its pretty much a psychofrenic bar. There’s a lot going on. At first there’s an oaky, nut flavour which morphs into a redcurrant and honey tone with the slightest edge of all-spice with caramel just at the very end. What you will notice is that even after you think all of the chocolate has melted you’ll be getting flash backs of flavour – much in the same way as the Artisan du Chocolat version.
This most certainly isn’t a “session” bar of dark chocolate, its one to savour and revisit when you need a cocoa-induced pick-me-up. It’s certainly not as smooth and silky as the Amano Ocumare 70% or the Chapon Columbie but it’s still a great bar of dark chocolate. For my taste its just a touch too robust, but if we only ever tried the same style of chocolate then we’d be missing out on so much great chocolate.