Acceptable bar from Neuhaus with some pleasant citrus moments, but dominated by burnt almonds and strong coffee with a less than perfect length.
Alex Rast: 5-Dec-2005
An utterly average bar light-years away from its far superiour origin stablemates. If Neuhaus shows every evidence of care and quality in its origin chocolates, this one shows every evidence of mass-production and cost sensitivity. In fairness, it’s not, perhaps, terrible, but there’s nothing commendable about it either and tasting this chocolate and one of their origin bars side by side makes one wonder how they can issue from the same company. Given the exceptional character of its higher-end line, there is no good reason to buy this chocolate from Neuhaus.
Right from the start things look unpromising for this chocolate. It’s got a dark brown colour, and worse is flat and dull. Moulding, at least, appears to be reasonable but on the whole there seems to have been more an effort to speed these bars down the production line than make them look pretty.
Aroma, too, is more of a deterrent than an enticement. Most of it is dark coffee – indicative of beans roasted within an inch of their lives. There’s also a bizarre dusty nuance – or perhaps lint, almost as if this chocolate had been through the clothes dryer. At least the flavour salvages some respectability – there’s an initial hit of fruitiness in a currant burst. But then earthy and coffee flavours take over, and overriding it all is a powerful and unrelenting bitterness that proves impossible to ignore. What you have here is self-evidently bulk chocolate.
Texture is also on a bulk level, perhaps slightly above absolutely average, smooth without being remarkable. But it’s very dry, and in this case perhaps more cocoa butter might have at least gotten rid of the worst of the bitterness. It’s a bar that shrieks of careless, rushed mass production, with little thought or effort given to quality. How can a producer manage to make such a totally average chocolate as this one, on the one hand, and such totally superb chocolates as its origin chocolates, in the same line? Impossible to say. This seems to be a chocolate at the focal point of an ethical crisis.
Martin Christy: 22-Oct-2002
Good to see an eligible bar from Neuhaus, famous manufacturers of pralines as found in airports throughout the world.
This is a dense looking bar, with some bubbles appearing on the top, which has a mild, slightly burnt aroma.
When first in the mouth the chocolate seems like it might be rather hard and insoluble, but is an easy melt and the initial burnt bitterness quickly turns to a (short) flood of citrus pleasure that soon returns to burnt almonds and strong coffee. Some grainy lumps were found, seemingly pieces of un-powdered cocoa nibs.
Initially length is short with a slight, but not unpleasant bitterness. Following that it turns rather waxy, and after a few minutes not such a nice taste is left in the mouth Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a definite minus!
With some reservation this is not at all a bad chocolate, though it may be too bitter for some. Not a bad port in a storm if nothing else is to hand!