June 16, 2008

Scharffen Berger – Antilles – review – Hans-Peter Rot

More articles by »
Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Scharffen Berger’s ninth bar in its Limited Series is a blend of four origins: Trinidad, Grenada, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. It looks fantastic atop its protective foil, radiant with a deep sierra color and magenta highlights. The aroma, at first sniff, is somewhat aloof and ordinary. It speaks of mild ash and coconut, but eventually sparkles with zesty raspberry and grapes, while jasmine lingers delicately in the back.

Ashy with coconut at first, then suddenly fruity and complex, the flavor shifts from bad to awesome in just seconds, easing gently into a sinuous, scattered theme. There’s a lot going on, such as melon, mango, and jasmine, but the dominant note is raspberries which gets darker and darker, eventually turning to plums towards the end with wood and pure cocoa closing things off. Texture, meanwhile, is smooth and glossy, melting without any effort and easing the somewhat rambunctious flavor along fluently.

In the wake of a so-so Cuyagua and an abject flop in their Kumasi Sambirano, Scharffen Berger returns to form with a marvelous, vibrant chocolate that has plenty of dark notes to keep things interesting. It’s a somewhat disorganized chocolate, though, its flavors whimsically thrown into the air and allowed to fall where chance dictated. It conveys a strong sense of the abstract, like capricious strokes from Jackson Pollack’s brush, so haphazard yet spectacular is its flavor distribution. But make no mistake, it all works well, unbelievably well, in fact, so stock up while you can.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot



The Chocolate Tree – Madagascar Raw 70%

The Chocolate Tree ventures boldly into territory formerly almost the exclusive domain of Pacari with a raw chocolate that one has reason to believe may be classified as “fine”. It’s even more refreshing to se...
by Alex Rast

Askinosie Del Tambo Ecuador 70pc & nibs enrobed Cru Sauvage Bolivia Felchlin

Directly Traded collection from Geert Vercruysse

Belgian chocolatier Geert Vercruysse creates a unique collection of ganaches using directly traded chocolate, just in time for the birth of new industry organisation, Direct Cacao.
by Martin Christy


The Chocolate Tree – Ecuador 82%

Scotland joins the club of bean-to-bar countries with this (and other) chocolates from interesting micro-producer The Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh. This is a new experiment for a company previously involved in confectionery and ...
by Alex Rast



Friis-Holm – Chuno Double Turned

The other half of the Chuno pair from Friis-Holm, which plays the very interesting game of asking by way of practical experimentation what differences in fermentation might do. Like the Triple Turned, this explores an entirely ...
by Alex Rast

Seventy% supports the International Chocolate Awards

Red Star Chocolate – Ocumare 72%

After a long hiatus, during which Red Star was apparently tinkering with their process, Duffy returns with a revised Ocumare dark. A well-known but highly-reputed origin is an obvious place to start after process changes, and t...
by Alex Rast


Latest reviews

  1. The Chocolate Tree – Madagascar Raw 70% Alex Rast, 15 Jun 2013
  2. The Chocolate Tree – Ecuador 82% Alex Rast, 14 Dec 2012
  3. Friis-Holm – Chuno Double Turned Alex Rast, 3 Dec 2012
  4. Friis-Holm – Chuno Triple Turned Alex Rast, 18 Nov 2012
  5. Chapon – Chuao Alex Rast, 18 Nov 2012

Search site