Amano offers no room for complaints. The bar is slick and lustrous, while the color is beautiful, reflecting the light red theme of its box, complete with a dark brown background instead of black. As for aroma, expect dark fruits like Amedei or Pralus sometimes convey. Cherries and raspberries are dominant, but tobacco and wood add depth and much needed contrast to complete a wonderful and familiar fragrance that cannot be faulted.
The flavor keeps on track with the aroma and for the most part the characteristics of the bean, since it seems to contain key traits from the 61 hybrid. The profile is pretty much fruity all the time, conveying a vague caramelized tone of black cherries or perhaps currants with a raisin edge that suggests a roast of the darker persuasion. The tone meanwhile is decisively dark and bold, offering a contrast to the fruitiness yet also a depth that seems to be inherent of the cacao. Some woodiness comes out towards the end, and the finish is definitely a mix of fruity and earthy, yet the earthiness never fully materializes as an actual flavor during the length.
Texture is by far an improvement over the Madagascar but is similarly thick. It has a creamy gait thatâ€™s prolonged considerably due to the thickness, so one truly feels a sense of refinement with this bar. Yet itâ€™s difficult to escape the impression that the bar, though excellent, lacks any idiosyncrasies to set it apart from not only the competition but also from the Madagascar under their own banner. Nonetheless, this is simply one variation of a great theme, which in most instances needs no elaboration to make it great. Itâ€™s clear Amano has a competent handle on what theyâ€™re doing, and theyâ€™re quickly proving they can hold their own against the big boys.