Very nice Forastero chocolate shows clearly the benefits of dark roasting for this varietal. Pralus has done a commendable job of revealing a pleasant basic chocolate while minimising bitterness and even flatness. Don’t expect any revelatory flavour complexities here, but as a simple eating chocolate this is most acceptable.
Hans-Peter Rot: 11-Jan-2007
A new bar and new packaging, Pralus finally gives his chocolate much-deserved foil protection from the outer wrapper, which now has been changed to paper. Beyond the cocoa dust and chipped sides that obviously occurred during transit, the bar seems to be molded in near-perfect fashion as is customary for Pralus. Color, too, looks quite good. It’s a lovely brown, neither excessively dark nor black but actually quite orange in complexion, perhaps similar to a finer Madagascan!
Powerful, masculine aroma, heavily redolent of wood with wonderful but subtle accents of smoke, raisins, black fruits, and a touch of acidity for that added teaser. Overall, it’s black and strongĂ˘â‚¬â€ťquite stern yet sophisticated for a Forastero.
Likewise, so is the flavor, but the overall delivery diverges just ever so slightly. First, it starts with a jolting woodiness and a strong coffee hit, which suddenly shifts to an extraordinary fruitiness, first bananas then a pineapple-like acidity, oddly enough, with the subtlest inflection of lime later in the length. But meanwhile, the chocolateĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s backbone is strong and very chocolaty with Pralus’ characteristic undertone of coffee and wood to send the fruitiness through the length until nuts close it off.
And to seal the deal, there isn’t a trace of bitterness or ash. Just superb flavor and control that seems effortlessly composed. Texture is also superb, unusually so for a Forastero, but then again, this chocolate in general has shattered all sorts of barriers and quite suitably propelled itself as a leader of the Pralus line. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s not to be missed, thatĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s for sure and indeed gives good reason why Forastero isnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t a dirty word anymore.
Alex Rast: 30-Dec-2006
Pralus has finally seen the light and concealed it from the chocolate – the new bars come well-wrapped in foil inside paper. It’s a promising step and a good indication Pralus listens to his customers. Meanwhile, out of the wrapper, the bar looks good indeed, somewhat dark as one might expect but with only minumal swirling and bubbling, and a good glossy finish.
Aroma is very promising indeed, with currants and woody notes coming to the fore, later seeing cocoa and brown sugar: all Forastero-like qualities but the better ones. As if to remind you of its origins, however, there is a brief, alarming whiff of cardboard, nothing too sinister but perhaps a slight blemish. The flavour, nonetheless, is very polished, with a powerful chocolatey initial character – or is it closer to cocoa? with Pralus trademark coffee-like roasty style and hints of sugar and nuts. Like most Forasteros, this one can’t avoid some flatness at the end but Pralus has minimised this effect and the whole is very pleasant.
Texture, too, is a strong point, super-smooth and among the creamiest of the Pralus range, thus boosting the sensory appeal of the chocolate still further. Even without that contribution the basic taste is sufficiently good to merit serious consideration. It doesn’t have incredible depth and complexity, but it’s a pretty face, one that you can live with for a long time without getting bored. Here is a fine example of how to make the most of a fairly average bean.