Interesting concept chocolate with a strong design based on Barcelona’s famous street tiles.
Quite a good eating chocolate, but with no particular qualities that would bring it to the front of the crowd.
Alex Rast: 23-Oct-2005
An excellent, fruity chocolate which introduces no new stylistic concepts to the market but holds its own anyway. It is sure to please those who like tart, acid chocolates and with a strong flavour delivers itself with authority. Perhaps, then, it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t stand out in a crowded field: it’s undoubtedly a worthy chocolate. But the 70% category is literally studded with world-class stars, and this chocolate is merely a first-team player, not a star.
Rovira focusses a lot of attention on the appearance and with its square, tile-shaped configuration it certainly attracts interest. The finish is also very good, reminding one, indeed, of glazed terra-cotta with its good surface sheen and ruddy colour. In this case a bit of bar artistry has come off successfully.
The aroma is very forward and strong, tart and fruity. Raspberries explode in the nose along with blackberries, so that one immediately thinks of summer. It’s extreme in the same way as Scharffen Berger, but not quite so bitingly tart, so the effect is quite pleasant. As expected, these aromas carry right through to the flavour, where they hit you immediately. Next follows a much more grounded, cocoa note with creamy and coconutty components. Here we definitely have some strong Criollo components, probably a lot of Sur del Lago. Unfortunately, there’s also a very bitter side, so something else is in there, yet in the end it’s not enough to ruin that berries-and-cream taste of the beginning.
From the appearance one expects a superb texture, and it’s good, nicely creamy and very smooth, but perhaps not *quite* as good as promised. Just a slight disappointment but nothing to get worked up over. As a whole, the bar comes off as not a disappointment at all, but nothing to get excited about either. Some have reacted very positively indeed, and these will be the ones who prefer a fruity chocolate. It’s in many ways where Scharffen Berger should have ended up – fruity, but not so extreme that it’s badly out of balance.
Martin Christy: 29-May-2004
Strong brown in colour and a good sheen on the top, ornately moulded in the style of the street tiles of Barcelona, though with some bubbles apparent on the underside. The bar breaks with a crisp snap, revealing more bubbles inside, where the texture is otherwise smooth.
Aroma is dominated by grassy tobacco with some dark fruit and milk tones.
There is a strong coffee and almond bitterness as the chocolate meets the tongue, with hints of cooked cheese before sweeter caramel wafer tones emerge along with faint dark fruit. Quite milky towards the end of the fairly pleasant if dry melt.
Dry length with a chocolaty tone and a bitter but not unpleasant smoke note that lasts well without turning, though does stay bitter.
Quite a pleasant blend, with probably a mix of better bulk beans and some flavour criollo, but overall a little more ordinary than the elegant presentation suggests.