January 13, 2008

Bonnat – Porcelana – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Bonnat has gotten their hands on another rare and revered cacao, this time some Porcelana beans sourced from Venezuela. The bar looks better than most Bonnat bars and shows the company took extra care in the temper and mold. The color just might be slightly darker than is expected from these usually lighter beans, suggesting maybe a darker roast which the aroma confirms. It’s dark and redolent of raisin, with red fruits underneath, but overall, there seems to be a similar balance that Amedei conveyed in their Porcelana.

Flavor doesn’t deviate far from aroma and delivers a somewhat stifled yet notably bitter assemblage of notes that suggest these beans aren’t the cream of the crop. Raisins and coffee lead this roast-inspired flavor, with strawberries popping in, but the coffee and tannins are too powerful and take on a familiarity of poorly processed Forasteros. Yet, as noted, everything seems distant or trapped under foggy glass, courtesy of so much extra cocoa butter that the texture is Bonnat’s finest to date.

After trying this bar it quickly becomes obvious there are serious issues Bonnat was unable to iron out with processing. Bean quality is the first and foremost problem that nothing in the factory could improve, even the addition of cocoa butter. Because Porcelana beans are typically non-bitter and delicate overall, this chocolate embodies everything one would not expect and may lead to concerns regarding the bar’s genetic constituency. Is it really Porcelana—albeit bad Porcelana—or is something else mixed in? By any standard, though, this is just a bad chocolate and under normal circumstances I would gladly demand a recount before finalizing a review. However, at such a hefty price, I’ll just have to stick to my guns until another bar surfaces and proves that this bar was a fluke.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot



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