Bonnat’s most unique sales proposition, a varietal chocolate unduplicated by other manufacturers, and with an excellent, characteristically Bonnat flavour signature, nicely balanced. This one will astonish with its lack of bitterness yet potent, dark flavour, unlike the commonplace light fruitiness of so many Venezuelan chocolates. If you try only one Bonnat, this is the one you should get.


Reviews

Hans-Peter Rot: 26-Sep-2005

Posted: September 26, 2005 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 9 10%
Look/snap: 8.5 5%
Taste: 9.5 35%
Melt: 8 5%
Length: 8.5 15%
Opinion: 9.5 30%
Total/100: 91.75 100%
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There’s something to be said about the wrapper’s classy, throwback motif but not necessarily for the bar itself. It’s a bare, matte slab with nothing inscribed onto it, making for a dreary exterior overall even if the molding shows no defects. Things pick up in the aroma, though, as blackberries and plums define its character with power and strength to back them up. Acid is suggested here too, portending of a sharp and assertive flavor, and iterating that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

With power and force at the helm, the chocolate delivers its contents with confidence, starting with an acidity level that adds even more muscle to its flavors. Berries proliferate everywhere, starting with blackberries, raspberries, and plums, which then settle into blueberries along with softer red notes which are much gentler than the berry explosion previously encountered. The chocolate seems to be settling down, and indeed it does, as coffee and nuts finish things off along with a lingering sharpness.

Like Bonnat’s other Venezuelan bars, Puerto Cabello is highly berry oriented in flavor, but takes a sharp left into acidic territory as the inherent “brightness” of the beans shines through with ease. Increasing the roast takes off much of the shine but not so significantly that the chocolate becomes flat. Lots of chocolaty heft backs up the fruitiness as well, which demonstrates that the beans possess an amazing breadth and balance of characteristics. This is one of very few chocolates that’s perfect as-is, regardless of textural issues, and comparable to El Rey’s Gran Saman, though not nearly as grainy and dry.

Alex Rast: 5-Jun-2005

Posted: June 5, 2005 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 8 10%
Look/snap: 7.5 5%
Taste: 9 35%
Melt: 8 5%
Length: 9 15%
Opinion: 9 30%
Total/100: 87.75 100%
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Finish isn’t really Bonnat’s strong point and from its appearance this bar seems like nothing special. It has a darkish, pure brown colour, and in our sample was a bit chipped, implying rough handling. It looks also slightly dry, without the very shiny finish of some chocolates and with an unevenness that again speaks to moulding as virtually an afterthought.

The aroma is actually somewhat disconcerting, with a rubbery cast along with a certain woodiness, raising concerns about indifferent fermentation. In its favour, however, it’s a nice strong aroma, not fading into the background and encouraging you at least to try it.

The flavour starts out fruity, but with that blueberry fruitiness that Bonnat seems fond of and which is a nice pleasant change from rather redder fruity flavours of other manufacturers. Next comes a very pure chocolatey flavour, more or less the perfect component a chocolate should have. There is a faint undertone of coffee but it isn’t particularly pronounced, and a touch of cream offsets the coffee nuance as well as suggesting a very high-bred Criollo. Best of all, there is just no bitterness, even when you look for it – a level you would never expect to find at 75%. In many ways the flavour is like an improved version of Bonnat’s Cote D’Ivoire – without any ethical dilemmas. And in spite of a rough appearance, texturally, it’s quite smooth, although somewhat dry in mouthfeel, probably from a low cocoa butter content. What you get with this bar is the archetype of what a great basic chocolate should be – balanced yet characteristic, chocolatey yet never bitter.

Martin Christy: 2-Feb-2002

Posted: February 2, 2002 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 8 10%
Look/snap: 9 5%
Taste: 9 35%
Melt: 9 5%
Length: 9 15%
Opinion: 9 30%
Total/100: 89 100%
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Classic Venezualan Criollo flavours. Slightly pasty in texture (as Criollo often is). Has the slight bitterenss of cherries with an intensity like rum, hints of forest fruits. A top flight chocolate with a fantastic full bodied length. Gives you a good buzz!



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