June 27, 2007

Amano – Madagascar – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Unlike the minimalist packaging, the bar itself conveys plenty of action such as swirling, air bubbling, and even cracking, but the color, however, is pretty and highly typical for the origin: light and orange, highlighting bright rust. Aroma too seems a bit feral and wild, predominantly vinegary in its constituency but also fruity with prunes and dates and perhaps a suggestion of molasses. It’s also quite intense, hurling itself at you with high velocity.

A sweet yet savory tone of balsamic vinegar underscores the profile and remains constant throughout, while an intense level of acidity rises above to highlight various fruits. Most notably prunes and raisins come to the fore, but they are eventually paired with quiet notes of oranges and raspberries, in addition to a beef-like subtleness, which is probably the result of the chocolate’s balsamic wanderings. The overall effect is as inferred, sweet and savory, but the combination is arresting and gorgeous, perhaps beautiful in its contrast. In light of this great flavor, the texture isn’t really much of a concern. It’s not completely smooth, marred by a scant amount of grain and dryness, but the general consistency is thick and highly unusual for an origin associated with exceptional creaminess.

Considering all other Madagascans on the market, Amano seems to have redefined all previous notions of what this origin should deliver. They’ve captured many diametric characteristics of Madagascar that most makers usually emphasize or deliver exclusively, while at the same time offered new ones as well. In a sense, Amano has exploded onto the market, shouting and hollering, making their rookie performance not easily unnoticed. And how could this bar not raise a few eyebrows? It’s a unique and interesting interpretation, one that could help solidify Amano’s stance as a serious contender.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot


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