Having heard only good things about Bonnat Dark Chocolate and because it seems it’s as rare as hen’s teeth I thought I’d get the credit card out again and try some. I stupidly fell for the “you’ve got to buy two bars of each” trick at Manufactum before I found that Mortimer and Bennett sell some.
Not only was I drawn to the positive things being said, but I also found the packaging very appealing. There’s a nice rustic, old feel that gave the impression that the chocolate would be
There is an initial acidity that gives way to a slight pine wood burning flavour that does leave your mouth dry – which is the case with a number of bars at this cocoa level, although it was most unexpected with the Bonnat brand. The very firm texture allows a cherry and almond flavour take over for a fair amount of time. Even after the chocolate has actually melted you’re still left with a dry mouth which actually makes you want more.
This bar has a more solid texture than any of the other fine bars I’ve reviewed recently, including the Jean-Paul Hévin Madagascar Aria 70% Dark Chocolate or the exceptional Chapon 75% Dark Chocolate From Cuba. Personally I think it felt strange on the teeth but that’s not as important as how it tasted. Apart from the dryness of it, I thought it was more than fairly good. It sort of manages to be bitter but still manages to be a bar that many dark chocolate detractors would actually like.
It terms of era, it seems to remind me of the wallpaper that you get in early 20th century houses, it has the stale wood flavour with a hint of degraded wallpaper paste that was actually appealing, although not as emotion-enduing as the Chapon was.
The packaging does indicate (in French) that the bar is powerful but yet sensitive and will “delight connoisseurs”. Whether I am a connoisseur or not is open to debate, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying I was delighted. There just seems to be a dimension missing. It just seems to be devoid of that “x factor” that I would have expected from a bar from the Bonnat stable.