October 8, 2005

Bonnat – Java Chocolat au Lait 65% – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Java looks particularly impressive out of the wrapper–better than many of Bonnat’s bars–bearing a lovely gloss and lack of molding imperfections even if the bar looks sterile and plain by virtue of no decorative scoring. The color is exceedingly light considering the 65% constituency of the bar, resembling pine, but whatever concerns were evoked here are partially reinforced by the aroma. It’s powerful and strong, with upfront notes of leather and tobacco but not without a strong milky body to remind us of the bar’s position. At 65%, though, could Bonnat have done something to mollify this?

The addition of milk is present in obvious attire, but it quickly disappears as an actual note and becomes noticeable in its softening effects on the flavor. Smoke and leather loom overheard but gracefully so and never in aggressive bouts like in Asfarth. There seems to be control and stateliness here, a better balance among the chocolate’s components. Meanwhile, mild citrus notes are in the background but the acidity eventually accumulates and emphasizes the citrus, conveying an overall sensation akin to lemon flavored chocolate mousse, with an especially satisfying chocolaty finish.

Something about the texture heightens this experience—probably its smooth consistency that melts like solidified cream, and the remarkably cool effect that chocolate always incurs on the mouth certainly plays a role, too. Simply put, Java is a refreshing and delightful chocolate that isn’t too heavy or assertive both in flavor and in texture. The chocolate as a whole just seems elegant and is essentially a joy to taste. Admittedly, though, intensity at this level would be ideal but the balance displayed here is much more obvious and provides no contrast of milk versus cacao like Asfarth. Smoky cacao is still a noticeable ingredient, but one that seems less brusque and perhaps more acceptable due to the gentile nature of the chocolate. If you’re looking to experiment with milk and smoke, then this is the bar to try.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot


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