Over the past few weeks I’ve been craving something different. None of the chocolate I’ve reviewed recently has been all that unique or inspiring. Thankfully I’ve come across this bar in my chocolate collection that has been hanging around for a good while. In fact it’s one that Sarah sent me from the seemingly defunct Chocadores. Interestingly she placed a sticker over the ‘Best Before’ date so I didn’t realise until I just pealed it back that it allegedly started to degrade in mid-July last year. I’d love to know how good it was then as I love it now.
Running a chocolate blog is like being part of American Pickers as you select chocolate almost “blind” and have no clue what you’ll find inside. And that’s the same thing with this bar. To be honest the front of the packaging isn’t all that inspiring, it doesn’t scream “buy me”. But to any ardent chocolate fan the reverse might give some clue that the people making the bar actually know what they’re doing. There it gives the information that chocolate lovers need: the provenance of the bar, where the cocoa was grown and where it was turned into chocolate.
Chloe Doutre-Roussel very much influenced the production and selection of beans, and I’m sure she played a significant role providing such an usual bar of chocolate. The beans are Alto Beni from Bolivia which, with varying degrees of distance have also been used to produce bars such as Oilla and Original Beans.
The beans were grown at about 400 metres above sea-level and then transported to the factory high up in the Andes in a place caleld Sapecho where they are turned into the chocolate that I have before me. This is where all the magic happens and your first encounter will be as you draw it out of the wrapper to be hit with an aroma of divine intensity which has significant tones of tobacco and dried cedar wood. I found this incredibly intoxicating and as enticing as any bar I’ve come across in the past. That sense of balsamic vinegar is as warming as you could wish for.
But it’s the flavour that sets it apart from every other bar I’ve tried as it has such a resemblance to Brandy that it’s almost unreal. However, it’s also remarkably different as with Brandy there’s a harshness at the back of the throat, but here it’s as rich and creamy as Bailey’s. There may not be any evolving in an operatic sense, but when you have such perfect flavours you just don’t want them to change.
Part of me things the perfect bar of dark chocolate should be one that you only want to have three or four squares before you want to wrap it back up and save it for another day. But I don’t actually want to do it with this one. That alcoholic tone is far to pleasant to save.
I just wish I knew where this bar could be bought in the UK. If anybody knows, could you drop me a line? As a rating, it gets 91%.