So this is my second Carenero Superior dark chocolate bar following the Beschel 70% I reviewed on Tuesday which was simply sublime. For this El Rey bar to come anywhere near that level of greatness will be a hard task to achieve.
For starters El Rey make ‘premium, single-origin Venezuelan’ chocolate. So it must be good? Well, alas, not.
I’m a big fan of The Chocolate Trading Co., but this one doesn’t come up to the high standards that the other chocolate they sell, such as Michel Cluizel and Valrhona, set.
The packaging is poor. Compared to the simple elegance of Pralus to the fantastically regal Beschle, this appears something like a two-bit start-up would use. I know that sounds harsh, but there’s no imagination in the packaging. If this was on a shop wall against most other fine chocolate it would spend its life there.
Moving on to the aroma; there’s a dry, sandy, tobacco and candyfloss note to it which also carries a character of freshly laid tarmac. Whilst the flavours are lacking unless you push the chocolate through to the top of your mouth where the dry aroma is represented in the taste of diet Pepsi, you’re unlikely to notice anything of note.
The texture is also not up to scratch. It feels a lot more granular and is not as smooth as recent dark chocolate bars I’ve reviewed. I’d like to stop here.