October 12, 2005

Michel Cluizel – Noir Infini 99% cacao – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

This is a chocolate that holds a commanding presence right from the moment you set eyes on it. The gorgeous appearance is glossy and emits a red-black hue that intimates of an extreme impact on the taste buds. Inhaling the aroma, you’re suddenly taken aback by the strong coconut perfume completely filling the nose with its tropical essence. Spicy notes of cinnamon and clove accent the coconut, along with mild traces of soft red fruits and maybe some quiet grapes to finish it all off. It’s not what you would expect from a 99%; it’s very easy on the nose, intoxicating, yet intriguing at the same time.

Suddenly, you’re totally engulfed by a flood of chocolatiness, the ultimate ideal of what an unsweetened chocolate should embody: pure, strong, and refreshingly bitter. Remarkably palatable yet forceful and domineering, the powerful impact will send you spiraling into chocolaty bliss. The flavor from the outset is tropical and spicy, with unsweetened coconut first on the palate, and an initial lightness of red fruits. Cloves then dominate and persist strongly as the chocolate simply renders you breathless, either from pure ecstasy or from pure shock. Indeed, regardless of your preference, the shock factor is strongly present, leaving you in utter disarray. Texture is thick and super creamy, with a melt that seems to last forever, and when combined with the onslaught of chocolatiness Noir Infini’s presence remains with you until next week. Addictive? Maybe. But I’m reaching for more….

Right from the outset, Noir Infini demands attention and piques the curiosity. But not in the same way that pretty colors, fanciful packaging, and poetic embellishments attempt to achieve. No, Noir Infini’s minimalist and stark black wrapping speaks simply yet boldly of what it conceals. Quite simply, Cluizel allows the chocolate to do all the talking. After the chocolate finishes hammering you during the length, you savor in the dark ecstasy that lingers so intensely in the finish. It’s a flavor and experience that engrains itself into the memory just as Grieg’s “”In the Hall of the Mountain King”" rings in your ears long after listening.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot


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