A good stab at a tricky cacao. Amedei has made the most of a bean that has a tendency to be somewhat bitter and flat. Some solve this problem with very dark roasting, but Amedei has maintained enough life to keep interest in the bean as well as the roast. Not, perhaps, as accomplished as some of Amedei’s finest efforts, but a worthy chocolate nonetheless.
Alex Rast: 30-Oct-2005
As with the rest of the I Cru series, this one comes in the annoying squares format, necessitating multiple minutes of unwrapping before you can get to tasting or even smelling. Amedei already has the ideal format in its 50g Chuao, Porcelana, and 9 chocolates – why it doesn’t extend it to the I Cru line is a mystery.
After the unwrapping chore, the chocolate looks quite good, very dark, virtually black, but smooth and lustrous, without major surface defects. Aroma, which is often not Amedei’s strong point, is here superb, chocolatey and coffee, very pleasant. Only Chuao has a better aroma and this one, while less complex, draws you in.
The flavour is surprisingly and gratifyingly complex. At first is a fruity mix of dark strawberry and currant. The “”dark strawberry”" may seem like an oxymoron but there it is – distinctly deeper than the refreshing strawberry more usually found. Following that it turns to a woody cast, rather bitter and perhaps a bit jarring, but moves on from there to a taste of dried currants, smooth and sweet. Texture, too, might be described as smooth and sweet – it’s not perfect, but very good, with a very coating mouthfeel.
Amedei has done a great job in getting the best out of this cacao that might be done. In truth, Grenada cacao falls arguably into the second-tier range – it’s generally more one-sided in its cocoa and coffee flavour. Amedei has preserved fruitiness, without sacrificing so much to bitterness that the product is inedible. It’s going a little far to say that they’ve made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear: the cacao isn’t that low-born, but they’ve certainly turned a middle-class citizen into a noble.