A very creditable organic chocolate, one of the better bars out there and worthy of Blanxart. Another illustration of how organics are now differentiating from what used to be a single style, but ironically this bar is somewhat “typical” of non-organic chocolates. On the whole, though, it satisfies even if it isn’t as lively as some chocolates – and it must be said that this is an enormous improvement over Blanxart’s “regular” dark chocolate
Hans-Peter Rot: 14-Jan-2006
If ugly and organic at one point ever went hand-in-hand (as they have), then Blanxart is living in the past. Despite the excellent sheen, the backside is outright hideous: bumps, bubbles, severe unevenness, and undulations all suggest that Blanxart did this purposely to tick us off. A black color is also not good, signaling Dutching at an attempt to wash out flavor. With such a limited and cocoa-like aroma, though, one can certainly reason the bar was Dutched to death, yet some citrus peaks and musty undertones are present.
The initial tone is chocolaty and intense, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s highly questionable, suggesting the likelihood of Dutching, which although delivers an agreeable flavor also removes complexity. Continuing, this tone persists, and the flavor is uniform and even, minimal with its evolution, and keeping in line with the simplicity of the aroma. But like the aroma, there is just a little more the flavor has to offer, starting with very mild and sweet orange, until the Dutch-like neutrality completely dominates the rest of the length with, of course, a slight mustiness that the aroma contained.
If it seems Blanxart blundered with the flavor, they got the texture dead-on creamy and slick like a Valrhona bar. In fact, maybe Blanxart goofed here, too, since the chocolate basically exudes disappointment from every pore. But, why not with texture? At this point, though, how can one honestly be angry with such a lousy bar? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more amusing than bad. On a serious note, though, the musty notes were probably what Blanxart wanted to sweep under the rug. Though, one must be critical against Dutching since in order to be on the same playing field as everyone else, this process is what could be called cheating. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not exactly what I would consider a fair stab at producing a quality chocolate bar. In a way, it does more harm than good.
Alex Rast: 3-Jan-2006
The rather rustic wrapper hides a bar which looks anything but rustic – very nicely finished with minimal bubbling and rippling, glossy sheen, and dark black-brown colour. The darkness is the only even possibly alarming note. Meanwhile, the aroma is very pleasant if a little sweet, dominated by vanilla and with a woody overall character. Traces of cherry and molasses are familiar in organics and liven what otherwise could be an overly soft aroma. The only lingering question is – will this one be sweet and mild?
Fortunately, the flavour answers that with a resounding no right away – introducing itself with a powerful citrus, orange burst that almost guarantees Madagascar origins in there somewhere. Next the flavour evolves to smooth coconut, and then becomes overwhelmed with a smothering earthiness, reminiscent of Dutch process, which unfortunately tends to flatten everything. There’s also an almost imperceptible mustiness – something like Domori’s Ocumare 61 has had. It’s tempting to ask onesself – is this really a good flavour? But ultimately the good points win out over the bad: yes, it’s good, if, perhaps, somewhat basic.
To add another argument to convince you, Blanxart has finished this with a superb texture – it’s ultimately creamy and very smooth indeed, an excellent job that says a lot in its favour. It might be just that one extra nudge that pushes the bar into the excellent category, for the flavour will keep you wavering for a few minutes. It might not quite be at the awe-inspiring standard of a bar like Domori’s Chacao Absolute, but to most other organic chocolates it concedes little ground. This is Blanxart’s best chocolate to date, and one of the truly quality organics.