Reviews

January 16, 2010
 

Valrhona – Alpaco – review – Hans-Peter Rot

More articles by »
Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

At first waft, Alpaco offends. It’s burnt and over-roasted, which for this origin (Ecuador) can be a good thing but here the impression Valrhona has made is total overkill. It’s a shame since the aroma exudes sophistication in the form of flowers, flowers, and yet more flowers, along with hints of strawberry and nutmeg, which as implied would surely impress if not for the overriding burntness.

Flavor, however, makes minor amends but ultimately leaves one wanting more. Floral is the key to this chocolate, one-sidedly so in fact just like the aroma but a lot less powerful and more difficult to pick apart. Orange blossom and something pink, both refreshing and highly appealing, dominate, but the lack of intensity and general mildness of the chocolate do little to support their presence.

Valrhona shines with the texture, as it typically does, but only to further emphasize the already timid and partisan nature of the chocolate. Indeed, Alpaco is a bit flat and deficient in character to make it remarkable, unlike similarly flavored chocolates such as Guittard’s Chucuri or even other Ecuadorian Nacionals, where there is at least some cocoa intensity or additional flavors to fill in the gaping holes that Alpaco leaves vacant. In short, the chocolate simply lacks substance to flesh out its good, albeit mild, flavor.



About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot




 
 

 
ChocolateTreeMadagascarraw7090gcropped

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
2

 
 
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
1

 
 
Ecuador8290g_cropped

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
3

 

 
chuno-db_scaled

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
1

 
Seventy% supports the International Chocolate Awards
 
RedStarOcumare72

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
0

 




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