An interesting cacao that, perhaps, needs a darker roast. Something of a miss for Amedei, merely a good chocolate in a sea of greats. Fans of woodier chocolates will be drawn to this one. Amedei’s roast reveals a bar with potential for great chocolatey flavour but in this case with still too much bitter edge.
Alex Rast: 30-Oct-2005
Continuing the pattern of the line, this chocolate is only found in 5g squares, a frustrating presentation and one that makes tasting difficult. It’s hard to unwrap the tiny squares, hard to assemble enough, and hard to arrange them in a way suitable for tasting. Squares are really only useful in piquing somebody’s interest; for actual tasting, they really don’t reveal much with a single square.
After overcoming the wrapper hurdle, the chocolate itself looks great. It’s not as dark as many of Amedei’s, and again, the finish is exemplary, with no surface defects. Aroma is just as the wrapper promises, strongly woody and with molasses notes, slightly spicy as well, a bit like cinnamon. Sharp aromas are the theme here, and this is an aroma that will either appeal or not right away. It does lay bare what to expect.
Flavour continues along the sharp theme. First is a sour, currant spike, and then a strong woody flavour takes over, with cocoa as a background. It’s pretty bitter as well, leaning towards the harsh side. Coffee makes an appearance, and one wishes there were more of it – here, it would be pleasant and relaxing. As it is, the bar is pretty high-strung, a high-thrill chocolate.
Texture is, if anything, slightly worse than Amedei’s norm, so it leans towards the mediocre, in this case somewhat waxy, as if Amedei tried to tame the strong flavour with more cocoa butter. It seems evident, though, that that isn’t the necessary solution: what’s called for is a darker roast that would buff out the sharp bitter spikes while accentuating that pleasant coffee flavour, and giving the woodiness a smoky twang. Pralus, the king of dark roasts, is really the master of this bean and Amedei is merely an alternative interpretation, interesting for comparison but possibly one that need not gain repeat tastings.