The pinnacle of Marcolini’s chocolate, this flawless blend excels and will appeal to all. At 85% will be especially good for those seeking a palatable, low sugar chocolate and will be worth the price.
Alex Rast: 6-Oct-2005
A simple description summarises this bar: “”easy to eat”". Here is a chocolate that offers no challenge whatsoever, completely calm and submissive. Unfortunately, in this case one might also say that “”easy”" corresponds to “”dull”". There’s nothing terribly wrong with it – it just doesn’t excite. It’s probably fair to say no one will dislike this chocolate, but for those looking for an intense chocolate experience, this bar is the wrong choice.
On surface this bar looks very promising. A deep red-brown colour and nice sheen indicate good temper and high-quality beans. Lack of mould marks of any sort show care during production. But the aroma that you get is pretty monotonous – essentially a straight earthy smell with little variation. Hints of sugary sweetness even suggest lower-power chocolates. A suggestion of cayenne tries to poke out every now and then to deliver excitement, but it’s quickly smothered with the earthiness. It is suspiciously Dutch in its composition.
The flavour very momentarily hits a citrus high, and you think there may be more coming than the aroma promised, but then with a dull thud it settles into a dominating buttery, vanilla, chocolate chip cookie note. It’s pretty sweet and pretty uneventful – very much more like a typical mid-percentage semisweet than a high-percentage chocolate. Traces of coconut also appear, ironically, much like what often pops out in chocolate chip cookies. For an 85% chocolate to be so reminiscent of this bakery treat is just a little repetitive. Texture is somewhat soft, with a fudgy, pasty mouthfeel – quite common in 85% chocolates where cocoa butter is in strong evidence. It’s above-average in smoothness, but there are better textures out there.
There’s always something of a question of philosophy when it comes to taste in chocolate. Some might say that a pleasant demeanour that inspires no strong negative reaction indicates greatness. I would, however, argue that excellent chocolate needs to convey an essence of chocolatiness to it. If a chocolate starts to seem too much like *something else*, no matter how pleasing that other thing might be, perhaps the eater would be better served by eating the something else. Here is a chocolate whose sensory experience you could gain just as effectively by eating a good chocolate chip cookie. These may be justifiably popular, but if that’s what you want – why not buy one?
Hans-Peter Rot: 5-Jun-2005
Like all Marcolini bars, this one displays mastery in mold and temper as no imperfections are visible on the surface. It’s just a classy looking bar on all fronts, indeed impressively reflective of Marcolini’s high standards for appearance. Color follows suit as well, with a purplish glow adorning the somewhat dark slab. Aroma is a bit disconcerting, though, and is cast into an axis of sugary sweetness analogous to ice cream. It’s not chocolaty at all, and is hardly able to convey anything commendable rather than a mild spiciness that could be considered pleasing if accompanied by some sort of intensity this class should deliver.
Almost expectedly, the flavor is a mirror of the aroma, with an intensity that’s basically nonexistent. Instead, the chocolate is too relaxing and calm, hardly chocolaty and entirely domineering with the caramel wave that saturates the tongue. Coconut can be detected somewhere in here as well and also some nutty and peppery inflections, but these complexities can hardly do any justice to a chocolate thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already nondescript and shoddily one-dimensional. Indeed, this is an emasculating chocolate, one that at 85% should deliver intensity but instead prefers a flavor comparable to a bake sale.
Texture is admirably smooth yet fudge-like, but at this level, one would expect a thicker and pastier consistency, especially to add some appeal to an otherwise disappointing and lackluster chocolate. By this point, it’s painfully evident how the chocolate earned its name. The market niche this bar inevitably fills is obvious: a low-sugar yet sweet, high-percentage chocolate. As a result, there will be a mighty thick line separating those who favor intensity and those who want something sweeter. On a positive note, however, one has to wonder how precisely this 85% chocolate can deliver such a sweet taste yet contain so little sugar and absolutely no milk. Even the mildest of beans will exact more strength than this.
Martin Christy: 27-Sep-2003
A satin look to this purple/brown chocolate, with a fine granite grain on breaking with some bubbling. A strong, sharp snap reveals perfect sheared faces with little crumbling.
The aroma is a delicate, light, perfume of vanilla, coconut and marzipan, with also some grass and very faint dark, liquorice tones. Hints of alcohol and sweet raspberries, coffee.
The first touch in the mouth is sweet, changing to slight coffee before the delicate notes in the aroma burst onto the tongue in a harmony of vanilla, coconut and caramel, reminiscent of toffee. Biting reveals fruitier cherry notes. The melt is a little thick (no surprise considering the strength of this chocolate), but this is no distraction. The end is creamy coffee with a little acid, leaving a lovely chocolate presence. Length is a solid echo of the flavour, a little sandy, with no turning our sourness. Hints of spice and citrus as the flavour lingers.
An excellent blend that few will believe is an 85%. Combining subtly with interest, yet still well controlled. Will appeal to all.