An interesting bright and fresh chocolate with a riot of flavours, one of the most complex bars you may ever try. It’s a bit of a pity that the flavours aren’t more well controlled, because they explode out from all directions without quite the sense that they’ve all been harmonised. The result is doubtlessly interesting but perhaps too much of a surprise all at once, like a succession of images flashed before you at subliminal speed. Still, Amano proves they’re not afraid to explore the boundaries with this chocolate.
Hans-Peter Rot: 20-Mar-2010
Fresh, zesty aroma with lots of lemony zip to suggest twang in the flavor. Mild is also a key word here since by no means is the aroma assertive, just jovial and very pleasing overall with accents of bitter almond and orange. There is also a distinct Amedei caramelized quality that lurched inside from AmanoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s outward show so it would seem similarities are not entirely superficial.
Starting out somewhat on the green side, the flavor quickly takes on a sweet-natured chocolaty quality, punctuated by subtle spikes of acidic lemon and light almonds, orange and cherries simultaneously, an explosion of sunny weather in the mouth that only gets brighter yet more chaotic as the length continues. Nothing truly harmonizes, just zips by at random, pulling you along capriciously but with a texture that eases the ride with a sophisticated gloss.
Despite this rambunctious act, Jembrana is actually a low-key, somewhat mild chocolate similar to a Seurat painting that up close appears as a collection of random colors but further away reveals itself to be a coherent, almost ethereal picture. Indeed, at first glance nothing really seems to work in tandem, instead merely coexisting out of chance and doing the best with what its got, but in fact clarity is simply a matter of perception and in the end appreciating is only half the enjoyment.
Alex Rast: 5-Jun-2009
Amano’s bars, so similar to Amedei externally, always look nice out of the packaging. A lightish colour and smooth finish indicates good overall care and beans although with some swirling on the back. Aroma is truly astonishing, an exploration of most of the chocolate aroma space. It starts out spicy and cinnamon, with a bizarre woody, almost pencil hint. Next follows a powerful floral burst, and then strawberry and citrus follow. The theme is very summery, very fresh, very feminine.
This theme continues into the flavour, which starts out like a Colombia Nacional with a candy-strawberry sweetness. After that it rapidly diverges, however, moving into woody characteristics before shifting again to rum raisin. As if to defy any attempt to characterise it the finish twists the tongue yet further with honey and vanilla notes. There’s a lot going on, but the palate is at a bit of a loss to keep up: too many flavours rush by too fast. It’s feminine alright, but flighty.
No confusion about the texture, however: effortlessly smooth and with an extraordinary creamy melt, a fine job if ever there was one. In truth, the flavour itself is a fine job in the sense of bringing out maximum characteristics in the bean. In this case, however, it might do with something of a Cluizel-like moderating touch, because the result while pleasant is bewildering enough to leave you wondering what happened. The experience is curiously reminiscent of a whirlwind tour through a great and beautiful city: Paris in a day. The journey is a delight, but at the end one feels more exhausted than perhaps truly satisfied.