It’s a good nine months since I last tried a Paul A. Young bar and I expected this rose and violet bar to be a great deal more muted than that Marmite XO Bar, however it does offer a fair amount of acidic bitterness with only the slightest hint of the violet and the rose which adorns its surface.
Of course Paul doesn’t have cacao bean roasting and conching equipment in his fairly cramped kitchen, instead he uses couverture to make his chocolates – and I think predominantly Valrhona couverture. So given that this bar uses 66% blend of cacao from various Caribbean islands I’d have to say this bar is made using Valrhona Caraïbe as its base. Now this isn’t my favourite of their offerings, but it does offer a fairly robust flavour and a very lengthy after-taste and a very assessable chocolate to blend with other ingredients. You could say it’s a good host for other flavours.
I had forgotten how much I liked the flavour that violet gives until I tried the Matcha Chocolat Lotus Selection and was hoping for a slightly less dominant dark chocolate flavour and more from the flowers. Alas it was more of a drummer to the Caraïbe lead singer. It played its part, but we’re more focused on the acidity that the chocolate gave, and not any underlying flavours.
If you’re popping into his shop and you’re buying your loved-one some last-minute Valentine’s gifts then you may be tempted to sneak in a few bars for yourself, don’t go expecting this bar to be soft and aromatic as it’s not. Go for this bar if you like a fairly bitter chocolate that’s tempered by softer flavours. Personally, I’d empty my wallet on his house collection instead.