Another bar produced from liquor – one step removed from bean to bar but getting closer – which also turns out to be L’Artisan’s most successful effort to date in this experiment. Almost certainly the finest Jamaica origin on the market, and a fascinating, complex bar. A mix of fruit and nut flavours makes for a classic counterpoint.
Alex Rast: 15-Nov-2009
L’Artisan’s chocolate looks a little dark out of the wrapper, and has the usual assortment of bubbles and unevenness characteristic of them, but the temper is first-rate and there are no glaring defects. Meanwhile, the aroma is powerful and pungent, with tobacco and citrus along with hints of grape, pepper, and spices. At first impression it seems there may be a risk of underconching here, but certainly the aroma is complex and full-bodied.
The flavour is about as much of a revelation as may be possible for Jamaica origins. It starts out with a nice strawberry, then moves towards melon and cream before finishing on hazelnut with some smoky notes. The evolution is particularly smooth, logical, and harmonious: a demonstration of how to manage an origin. It’s hard to imagine how they might have done any better.
Texture, too, is about as good as can be achieved, perfectly smooth, perfectly creamy, simply awe-inspiring. L’Artisan has had some winners before but this is perhaps the first time one feels they’ve produced the definitive article. If the Jamaica origin is of interest, this is clearly the bar to try, a textbook exposition of the origin and the art of chocolate making.