Near black is the color this bar emits, perhaps leaking out some red, but ominously dark nonetheless despite being attractively molded. Continuing, the aroma is subtle and very unimpressive with little more than a vague sweetness of Dutched cocoa comprising its core. Some hints of ash and finer inflections of cherry are present in traces as well, but in the end they are far too fleeting to add sufficient depth.
First taste is that of a Bonnat bar, somewhat nutty like soy, and then whirlwinds of a dark roast take over, suggesting rather aggressively that Hachez was not afraid to crank up the heat here. Ash supports that notion, but luckily the fruitiness of the beans is present as well, first blueberries, then strawberries, and later (towards the end) melon, which leads to a somewhat dry and bitter finish, imparting dry cocoa on the tongue as the lasting memory.
Intensity, however, is where this bar falters and coming from Hachez this does not surprise. Although the chocolate has some classic Venezuelan flavors, the intensity is not at a level to make the bar stand out or to best exemplify the origin and the beans. The company may be struggling to find that balance, and at 70% the bar is far more along the lines of what a typical chocolate offers by way of cocoa butter. With 17g of fat per serving its flavor is not nearly as muted as its 77% and 88% stablemates (which contain 22-23g of fat per serving) yet it melts with excellent, though not as superb, texture comparable (again) to a Bonnat bar. Although a decent effort, it still suggests that the more things change the more they remain the same.