At first I thought it was Keith Hurdman that introduced Betty’s to Felchlin when he worked there, but reading up about Betty’s I realised it could have been Fredrick Belmont who’s the founder of the famous north of England tea rooms as he was a chocolatier previously. For some of you who don’t already know, Felchlin make wonderful quality couverture which chocolatiers use to make their own bars or bon bons. But the most interesting thing about this bar is that it uses their Grand Crus Criollo cocoa beans from Venezuela – so I had great expectations for this bar.
The aroma was very memorable. I can just I’ve tasted this before somewhere. There are hints of red berries and the very slightest of marmite and a very welcome acidity. It most certainly does draw you in.
The flavour is incredibly mellow and at the 65% a touch or two sweeter than I normally prefer. There isn’t a great deal going on here though. The acidity is very slight, the red berries muted and the sugary tone dominates – but not to excess. Being Felchlin, Criollo cocoa beans and of Swiss influence, there isn’t anything dramatic here. The flip-side of that is that, ultimately, it’s not all that memorable.
Putting this bar in a blind taste amongst a hundred or so others I doubt that it’d be picked by any as their favourite, despite a superb texture. Other than the mouth-feel there’s nothing remarkable about it. Yes it’s enjoyable, but I would have preferred more punch. From my recollection, I’ve never had any Swiss chocolate that has been awe-inspiring, without wanting to stereo-type, but I feel none ever will. And the bubbles? We best not mention the lack of tapping in the production process!