I am looking forward to a review of Scharffenberger Las Islas. I had the pleasure of touring the Scharffenberger plant in Berkeley this week, and I purchased a bar. It reminds me of Michel Cluizel 72%, one of my favorites thus far. According to our tour guide, John Scharffenberger thinks it's their best yet. On a side note, they said that Hershey has left them alone (on the production side), except to buy them 2 extra identical roasters from Germany. They have problems with their roaster breaking down often, and all production stops until the German mechanic can come to fix it. Now that they have three (all identical German models), they can continue production while awaiting the German mechanic. It sounds like their staff and processes are the same.
Actually I just talked to them and they have hired a full time mechanic for their factory...another upgrade of Hershey's....
The Las islas bar, I thought was really good...It has a similar taste to their regular line of bars which makes me think that the three beans they use in the Las Islas are the main beans they use for their regular line...just a guess...but a great bar overall....HUGE aroma to it...you could smell it across the room!
Originally posted by aguynamedrobert
The Las islas bar...has a similar taste to their regular line of bars which makes me think that the three beans they use in the Las Islas are the main beans they use for their regular line...just a guess...
That wasn't my impression at all. I picked up a few of the bars last night, along with a Scharffen Berger blended 70% bar for a control. The blended bar has a very mellow flavor profile--little acidity or fruitiness, very controlled bitterness. It's a pleasant chocolate, but not one with much personality. The Las Islas is much bolder, with strong acidity and sour notes, a touch of bitterness and astringency, and a much longer finish. What the Las Islas bar most reminds me of is Valrhona's Gran Couva (with hints at Domori's Puertofino). I think it's better than Gran Couva, though, since it isn't oversweet like the Valrhona and seems to have a little more bottom end.
Definitely agree with you on the aroma. I left a bar half open in my car last night. When I opened the door this morning, I could smell the chocolate before I even sat down.
Haha...yeah that thing has a powerful aroma...I would still have to say it has a lot of the characteristics of their regular line...
I didn't think it tasted anything like Gran Couva...hum...I find it very different...what flavors were you pulling out that made it remind you of Gran Couva?
Have a good one,
January 1, 2007
I think it finishes similar to the 72% Cluizel bar, but they have a very different dominant profile. The Cluizel has a dark, roasted chocolate flavor whereas the Las Islas is more fruity and citrusy to me. I agree with Scott that SB's 70% bar is much more bland -- or more generously, subtle. But it's been a few days since I tried it.
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