Bright, fresh, sunny – all of these are an apt description of Mangaro, Cluizel’s interpretation of the fashionable Madagascar cacao. This bar is for those who like their chocolate light – like a Northern Italian coffee roast. The downside is that this chocolate may be a bit sharp for some, but if you like a chocolate to lift you up, it’s a great choice. An ideal “morning chocolate”.
Hans-Peter Rot: 13-Oct-2006
Mangaro appears as many Madagascans do: light brown. A tint of orange gives the impression of copper, while the rest of the bar figuratively and literally fits the Cluizel mold, as it shines lustrously, displaying a few air bubbles and minor swirling. The aroma is fairly quiet and coy on the nose as a brown essence reluctantly wafts through the nose. It’s almost spicy like dates, but also light and crisp, whispering raspberries with a splash of alcohol serving as subtle depth.
Carrying over from the aroma is a flavor much stronger and easier to deconstruct, but also quite gentle and mildly spirited with its progression. It opens with the same spicy date high note, but caramel serves as the backdrop of the profile while tart raspberries add a vibrant zip, leading to limes and cedar towards the end. Texture is slightly below Cluizel’s norm but still smooth and creamy nonetheless. It’s more fitting in light of the flavor, intensifying the caramel and emphasizing the “”brownness”" of the chocolate.
Somewhat bright and vibrant but not nearly as much as Maralumi, Mangaro breezes by somewhat quickly with a jovial personality that can be taken in large doses. It’s a light chocolate with a strong emphasis on caramel and a cheerful counter of raspberry tartness that presents an overall simple scheme that eases by effortlessly. As such, Mangaro is not exactly the most taxing of the Cluizel range, and certainly not the most representative of Madagascans on the market, since the bar seems to highlight Cluizel’s stylistic leaning rather than the origin. Start here if you want to get familiar with Cluizel. A simple flavor is what you get, but as Leonardo da Vinci said, “”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”"
Alex Rast: 22-Feb-2006
The bar itself visually conforms to Cluizel’s exacting standards, perfectly sharply finished, with minimal mould bubbles and no traces of rippling. Colour is a very neutral brown, neither the red-brown of Venezuelan Criollo nor the purple-brown of Ecuador Forastero.
The aroma is reviving and stimulating, a strong woody and coffee burst initially, and with a bright fruity background, cherries and currants, leaning towards the sour. High notes prevail and as a result the aroma may have a little less depth than some – this isn’t one that encourages you to linger over the smell but rather to dive right into tasting. The flavour itself has a very prominent citrus/lime cast, definitively sour and puckery. However, the bulk of the flavour, in spite of a cherry note carried over from the aroma, is slightly flat, mostly woody, reminiscent of teak. Thus the flavour impact is that of a quick, sharp burst which quickly dissipates. It’s a good jolt, though, definitely a chocolate that will wake you up.
Compared to the Cluizel norm, it’s a bit drier and rougher, but this is a decidedly relative experience, because the Cluizel norm is unbelievably creamy and smooth, thus by more normal standards this bar is very creamy and very smooth. Experience with Cluizel makes you aware that it’s possible to do better, but it’s still a decent job. This is a bar meant more to be seized and gobbled (perhaps on the go?) rather than one to relax with and savour.