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November 10, 2010

Amano Montanya 70%

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Written by: Stuart Robson

Recently Amano seem to be on something of a roll, producing some quite wonderful bars consistently improving upon previous batches, and from the outset here there seems to be no exception with this limited edition offering. The colour is a little dark but with an enticing red tint and there can be few complaints in terms of the finish; a well tempered sheen, clean snap and only a little swirling hinting at the omission of Soya Lecithin.

On the nose this bar is quite beautiful.  It is a little reserved at first with pronounced touches of vanilla and a certain grassy edge before lovely stone fruits reminiscent of nectarine, and red berries emerge.  There is also an interestingly sweet and slightly spicy back note adding depth and balance.

Even with such an evocative aroma, it is on the palette that this bar really shines and from the outset the flavour sets out to mirror the nose. The initial delivery is rich in a mix of ripe, sweet nectarine, apricot and red fruit notes that seem to drift between glacé cherry and, in time, slightly acidulous currants. The tannins are quite firm here which helps to stop the whole becoming too sweetly fruity or cloying. We begin to see some cedary qualities heading into the finish, in which the stone fruit returns alongside the tannins.  The melt is good, quite silky with few sandy or fudgy qualities to speak of.

This is a highly accomplished and rather fruity outing from Amano and there are few criticisms one could raise here, aside from the vanilla being a little unnecessary given the bean’s naturally charming and complex character. The ideal roasting point seems to have been found and the beans allowed to express themselves freely with minimal detractions. In short this is a beautiful and rather individual Venezuelan, highly recommended.

About the Author

Stuart Robson
Stuart Robson is a passionate foodie born in Scotland and based in Hertfordshire whose main expertise lies in the world of whisky and chocolate. He first began tasting fine chocolate in 2005 with Valrhona Manjari and has since developed a particular interest in single origin bars and a desire to highlight skilled cacao farmers and artisan producers all over the world. Stuart previously trained in Paris while working for a fine chocolatier, and has since become a reviewer for Seventypercent. He is still involved in freelance consultation for small companies working with bean-to-bar chocolate producers and chocolatiers.



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