Possibly the ultimate chocolate for lovers of mild milk chocolates. A bar with amazing complexities, although it must be said, all variations on a sweet theme. It’s perhaps too bad that Amano chose such a mild formulation for an all-Criollo milk chocolate, but still the results are outstanding. With milk chocolate of this level, Amano ought to try upping the percentage and it might become supreme.
Alex Rast: 15-Jul-2009
Amano’s bar, so reminiscent of Amedei, looks superb out of the box, and surprisingly dark for a mild milk chocolate. No pale tan here; this one is robustly red and well-formed with virtually no swirling.
Aroma is interesting but slightly disturbing. The initial impression is fairly standard: cheesey and buttery, but then more interesting citrus and almond aromas emerge. Earthy hints ring true to the Ocumare origins. But lurking in the background is a disturbing whiff of toluol – processing problems perhaps?
Luckily the flavour doesn’t hint at any further difficulties. Starting with a melon and chile initial bite, it progresses to smooth and sweet grape and almond before surging into one of the most intense and obvious honey flavours a chocolate bar has ever had, completely characteristic but not heavy-handed. A nutty finish rounds out an outstanding progression. Texture, unfortunately, stumbles badly, being fudgy and coarse, although these problems are easily set aside with a taste this good.
Perhaps the lone unfortunate quality is the low percentage: the result is inevitably very sweet and one wonders how much better this might be upped to a higher percentage – 50% or so. At that range it might compete with Cluizel’s superb Mangaro, still unassailable among milk chocolates. Nonetheless, this is a very fine chocolate indeed and a realistic option for those who prefer very mild milk chocolates.