July 27, 2007

Michel Cluizel – Chocolate Noir 60% – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Cluizel has always impressed visually, and this bar doesn’t falter in its temper or finish. Flat, lustrous, and perhaps darker than one would expect for a chocolate of this class, the reddish brown bar sits immaculately on top its gold foil wrapper, proclaiming an aroma to match. The sweeter nature of the scent is evident by vanilla and melon, but tobacco and spice provide an earthy base, making for a predominantly earthy scent with a fruity awareness.

Melon, apple, or some other fruit of the sort defines the profile, providing not only a wonderful and uplifting crispness to the flavor but also an astounding strength considering its secondary role in the aroma. This is a refreshing and soothing flavor that has subtle accents of clove underneath, while vanilla enters later to both enhance the fruit and offset the darker components of the chocolate, most notably the tobacco and the deep chocolate flavor itself, the latter of which escalates halfway through and dominates the profile in similar fashion as Cluizel’s 72% blend.

The texture remains right on track for Cluizel, bearing a wonderful creaminess and smoothness that fits the relaxing nature of the flavor perfectly. Cluizel has obviously found a winning blend that apparently needs no modification to suit varying amounts of sugar. One truly feels a sense of harmony with this bar, and in fact, this blend. So rare is it for a chocolate maker to create a blend that can be left virtually unchanged across the board and still be successful at each level. At 60%, we simply get another variation of a great theme, the most accessible and without a doubt the most interestingly nuanced of the triptych.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot



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