The Colombian cacao stands up to the milk remarkably well and provides plenty of complexity and interest to make this milk chocolate quite unique. A bit sweet on the tongue, actually, but still quite intense with its chocolatiness, the balance is a “take the good with the bad” relationship, but in the end, the sweetness really isn’t that annoying as it is enjoyable. After all, this is a milk chocolate.
Hans-Peter Rot: 8-Oct-2005
For a milk chocolate, the appearance couldnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t be anymore impressive. It has a lovely gloss and practically no defects to suggest carelessness, haste, or that the percentage is a mere 36%. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s a top notch exterior in all respects, with a color that falls into a typical range of light brown. Aroma is also impressive, the sugar and milk not cloying but pleasantly balanced and uniform with marshmallows, strawberries, and flowers also performing a soothing balancing act. For a milk chocolate, things couldnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t possibly look better.
Unfortunately, the flavor is somewhat of a deflating experience, paling in the wake of the magnificent aroma. It stumbles along the way with every step, taking on a thin quality that reeks of mild cocoa, but some character beyond this subtle penchant does evolve. Marshmallow sits in the foreground but ironically with less sweetness than the dark bars, perhaps because of the milk. Strawberry accompanies the marshmallow, along with clear and concise interludes of toffee, but all these notes are fleeting and the chocolate is in a sense insubstantial and too subtle.
Texture adds heft to the emaciated flavor, but itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s an odd and waxy consistency that in and of itself is considerably unpleasant. Yet SantanderĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s relative failure in milk chocolate is not as outrageous as it is self-evident, since Colombian cacao, with its delicate and gentle flavor, will naturally lose its unique character (and interest) with the addition of milk and sugar. These are qualities that need to be emphasized through power and cocoa content, not hidden with veils of sugar and milk. Oh well, canĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t win them all, right?