A British made chocolate with a fateful name and high aspirations. Nicely mild and palatable for an organic, though somewhat lacking in excitement.
Alex Rast: 28-Jul-2007
“”Very dark”" seems to be an apt description out of the box – this bar with its deep black-brown colour evokes suspicions of Forastero, although it’s not quite purplish. Moulding is definitely at the “”artisanal”" level, that is to say, rather uneven and imperfect. There’s a vague nagging feeling that this bar might turn out to be one of the “”bad old”" bars in the old organic style.
Aroma hints at promise, however, with an interesting cherry fruitiness and smoky, coffee undertones that suggest perhaps a different origin for the dark colour, heavy roasting. The light/dark contrast of cherry and smoke is a theme of several successful chocolates, reminding one of Theo in many ways. However, there’s something vaguely generic here too: it doesn’t have Theo’s unique personality, being more of a reminder of many of a category of chocolates following a Callebaut lead. So aroma doesn’t resolve the uncertainties.
The flavour is very authoritative, powerfully intense cherry at least initially, and it looks as though we may have a winner. Unfortunately, it does a nose-dive from there, flattening out brusquely into stolid cocoa, moving nowhere and having no vision. It’s as though the chocolate, satisfied that it’s asserted its position with a strong introductory statement, decides it feels secure in its superiority and turns into the stiff authority figure. In the end it’s a repetition of the pattern of visuals and smells: one doesn’t know what to make of it, whether good or mediocre.
At least the mouthfeel is exceptional, beautifully smooth and with a silky texture, doing something at last to claim real quality rather that a bag of unknowns. In a case like this, that one merit may be enough to tip the scales towards “”good”": the flavour is, after all, quite pronounced, even if it does probably need a gentler roast to bring out more character and life in the finish. We can at least comfortably place this in the quality organic class rather than the low-grade class. It might not be the bar with the greatest of personalities, but if you can get past an unadventurous demeanour, it’s a bar well worth trying.
Martin Christy: 14-Jul-2003
This is a rather mild organic, made with beans from the Dominican Republic. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s a good-looking chocolate with a home molded appearance, red flecks and the odd bubble. Aroma is slow to appear at first, but gradually rises to chocolaty tobacco and ash, with hints of fruit.
Flavour is coffee at the start, turning to cream and cooked chocolate fudge, with slight hints of dark fruit and quiet caramel that slowly evolve into molasses. Rather creamy with the vanilla sitting nicely, though a trace metallic note appeared later on. Length is again mild, fading with a citrus echo.
A very good organic, especially for those wary of Ă˘â‚¬ËśbitterĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ chocolate, with only a slight earthiness – though not the Ă˘â‚¬Ëśfinest chocolate you have ever tastedĂ˘â‚¬â„˘!