October 12, 2003
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.
July 26, 2003
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.
August 1, 2006
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.
July 26, 2003
April 29, 2004
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.
August 1, 2006
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.