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El Rey - Apamate
October 12, 2003
7:47 pm
vtheory
Cambridge, USA
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October 12, 2003
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Very strong aroma with sweet and bitter notes. Initially subtle flavor, with slight bitterness developing into full-blown dark and rich flavors with some floral and nutty elements present. Moderately acidic finish. This chocolate is fairly balanced, as is evidenced by the gradual buildup of flavor and smooth lingering finish, but at times, it appears as though the acidity and strength of the cocoa overpowers many of the more subtle flavors. Also, as with most El Reys, the texture is not exactly the smoothest, and that tends to interfere with the taste and experience.

October 13, 2003
1:43 am
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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This may be weird, but El Rey's texture is one of my favorite things about the chocolate. Sometimes you don't want an extra-smooth chocolate like, say, Valrhona. The Dry, earthy flavors matched with that grit is just very appealing to me. Now, the acidity of Apamate does not agree with me. I think that high acid bars match better with a smooth chocolate, like Valrhona. Gran Saman isn't as adidic and has more nut flavors. A better eat, I think.

October 17, 2003
3:18 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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August 1, 2006
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My opinions are the complete opposite from yours, bob. I find Apamate much earthier and containing almost no acidity. It has more of a robust flavor, while retaining a trace amount of fruitiness, which is so characteristic of the Carenero bean; this is perhaps due to a longer roasting time. Gran Saman obviously has a more powerful flavor, which imo, complements the grittiness better than Apamate. I taste burnt sugar and toasted coconut in Gran Saman and more nutty elements in Apamate.

October 17, 2003
10:41 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Well, I taste nutty flavors in both, but more so in the Gran Saman, personally. I taste a distinct citris tang in the Apamate, only backed by a slight nut taste. Then again, maybe my taste isn't as rounded and sensitive yet.

December 1, 2004
6:23 pm
alex_h
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i just got apamate and gran saman and i'll be damned if these two don't remind me of hershey's kisses with a twist. seriously! that's what springs to mind whenever i take a sniff or a bite.

the bars are gritty, yes. after letting the chocolate melt on my tongue i feel as if i can file down my teeth by grinding on the residue. nice feeling, i like it.
they have this sharpness to them, though. an astringent bitterness. sharp and clear and dry. a bit too sharp and clear and dry for my taste. not rounded. and though apamate has cocoa butter added to it, i cannot tell the difference between the two. maybe the 3.5% in additional cocoa content are the butter, which can't be much.

December 2, 2004
5:29 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah, they're quite different, aren't they? It's definitely surprising after eating all that Domori too, isn't it? I found a noticeable difference in texture between Apamate and Gran Saman, the former being smoother but still gritty. The overall chocolate flavor was subdued a bit by the extra cocoa butter too. I prefer Gran Saman because I find the flavor slightly more interesting and, of course, it's much more intense. However, Icoa isn't as gritty, but I guess that's no surprise since it's mainly cocoa butter.

December 2, 2004
11:52 am
alex_h
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no, i meant that i can't really tell the difference between the two.
they are both good and interesting, but too sharp for my taste. i still prefer domori.

El Rey - Apamate | Member fine chocolate bar reviews | Forum