A good offering from Galler, very strong but not way off the bitterness scale. Flavours are subdued rather than strident, but are enjoyable all the same, with a warm comfortable aftertaste.
Alex Rast: 19-Oct-2005
A superb extra bitter chocolate, displaying mastery again by a second-tier chocolate manufacturer in an arena where the really elite manufacturers seem to stumble a bit. Has a superb chocolate presence and yet a mildness that keeps the power in check. It’s in a way a bit surprising, in that their 70% is not nearly as good – perhaps better beans might be involved, and additional cocoa butter probably constitutes a role too. The feminine extra bitter to Lindt’s strong masculine bar.
The chocolate looks very good on unwrapping. It’s a smooth if perhaps ebony-brick brown tablet, with near-perfect surface finish and shine. Clearly there’s a lot of cocoa butter in this one. The very decisive snap reinforces that impression, combined with an ultrasmooth, ultracreamy texture, which is, however, pretty typical of 85% chocolates.
However, before one notes the textural sleekness one takes in the aroma, and it’s slightly questionable to start, rubbery, indicating a risk of indifferently-fermented low-grade beans. However, Bonnat’s superb Puerto Cabello has the same basic aroma, so perhaps there’s nothing to worry about. In any case, the rubbery disappears in a soothing vanilla burst, accented with coffee – a light-and-dark contrast that is almost a comfort food sensation. One can imagine curling up with this bar on a cold November evening.
The flavour is simple, and simply superb: a great basic chocolatey, with a combination of creamy and vanilla mixed in for good measure. This is very similar to Puerto Cabello, perhaps a bit more darkly roasted, and it’s extremely pleasant and soothing. It also suggests top-quality beans of a similar source to Bonnat’s bar, so similar are the aroma and flavour. And where Bonnat has done a world-class job at 75% with their Puerto Cabello, Galler has done an equally world-class job at 85%, producing a bar that is indeed comfort food for chocolate lovers.
Martin Christy: 29-Jun-2003
Quite dark looking, but not black, with a good grain. Pleasant sweet aroma with floral hints and a tobacco background, though at first there is a slight smell of ‘candy’. Breaks well on biting and while certainly not sweet, this is not too bitter a chocolate even at 85%.
The melt is quite smooth, suggesting a high cocoa butter content that helps to counter the strength of the bar. A very dry chocolate, it takes a while before the flavours start to emerge, at first with a light lime, then with underlying tobacco and cherry before dissolving into creamy cappuccino. The length leaves the mouth full of thick chocolate flavours that hold well, reminiscent of unsweetened South American style drinking chocolate.
This bar is perhaps more about texture than flavour and the lack of vanilla is noticeable, but is a good eat all the same, if you like your chocolate very strong.