Originally posted by Alex_Rast
OK, so with the accompanying media coverage it was time to try Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s new 72% and see what it’s like. My initial expectations were good in the wake of samplings of the 100%s.
Unfortunately the bar doesn’t meet expectations, not yet.
An update: I just tried the Peru, the other new sweetened chocolate from Willie. Happily, as much as the previous bar was a failure, this one is a success. The same overall style choices are notable: blackberry upfront aroma, strong dark roast with a coffee finish to the flavour, but the character is altogether different. Other things were happening in the aroma – cocoa, peanut, some tobacco, and this tobacco scent carries over into the flavour. There’s also a much better initial raspberry spike to the taste profile. If the last one tasted burnt, this one has the same feeling of dark roast as a style choice rather than a process defect that characterises Pralus.
As I predicted textural quibbles, at least for me, disappear. You can still tell that it’s got that coarse grain and dryish mouthfeel, but with the improvement in flavour it’s no longer abrasive.
I wonder to what extent Willie is tailoring his roasts to match the beans? With the excellent result here, it seems that he should be able to find a better match for the Venezuela. I suspect its roasting profile would be radically different from the Peru.
Whatever the case, this bar is reason to be excited: an excellent, style-distinctive offering that gives reason to believe Willie will become an established name before too long.