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Hershey Cacao Reserve
September 23, 2006
7:02 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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August 1, 2006
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I don't know if you all are aware of this, so:

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/060905.....06141.html?.v=1

September 23, 2006
9:54 pm
sebnath
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August 25, 2006
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Very interesting.
Has anyone tried the new Hersey's range?

September 23, 2006
10:07 pm
Alan
Columbia, MO, USA
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April 20, 2006
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Out of interest I tried the new Extra Dark and the Cacao Reserve w/ nibs. Both of them were of about equal quality, which is to say that they were about the quality that one would expect from a "gourmet" Hershey's bar. Neither bar got finished, and I won't purchase either one again.

Alan

[url="http://www.Patric-Chocolate.com"]Patric Chocolate[/url]
September 27, 2006
12:26 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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February 14, 2006
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All Hershey "gourmet" bars are garbage. They all smell/taste of petrol! The consistancy is anything but smooth and they do cacao a great disservice.

Not only this, but they are a waste of money. A 100g bar of Hershey's "gourmet" chocolate will set one back $3.50. $3.50 can purchase a bar of Valrhona here......

Cheers

Eshra

October 13, 2006
6:54 pm
ladygold
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October 13, 2006
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I've always considered Callebaut to be my "gold standard" but after tasting the new Hershey's, I may have to think twice.

I found both the Extra Dark and the Extra Dark with nibs to be more than acceptable. I certainly found no off tastes whatsoever. I will go out of my way to find them once they are available here.

We did a comparative tasting, btw of all 4 of the new varieties.

You mileage may vary, of course.

March 8, 2007
11:39 pm
ChemicalMachine
USA
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June 5, 2005
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Today I tried the Santo Domingo 67%.

Like other Hershey's "dark chocolates", this is actually just a high percentage milk chocolate. I prefer this to the standard Hershey's Dark, although it definitely tastes like Hershey's.

There are no offensive flavors, and the milk is noticeable. I have not tried the high percentage milk chocolates from the premium chocolate makers, so I will withhold judgment for the moment.

I only paid a little over $2, and I do not think that it is any worse than valrhona's milk chocolate.

March 10, 2007
9:53 pm
ChemicalMachine
USA
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I sampled the Santo Domingo 67% again today, and I found it pleasurable.

The flavors are pleasant and develop slowly. I find the tasting notes on the packaging accurate, although they fail to mention the flavor contribution of the milk.

The bar states that the chocolate is manufactured "in Germany for The Hershey Company". This suggest that Hershey is purchasing the chocolate rather than producing it independently. Does anyone know who actually makes this chocolate?

April 21, 2007
6:05 am
hdofu
Fallston, USA
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April 21, 2007
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I personally love the taste of the Single Origin bars. The Sao Tome is complex tasting like a cup of expresso, The Java is probably the best tasting Milk Cocolate I know of (well I'm fond of dove for milk, but this stuff is possibly better) tasting of honey. Ariba is a semi sweet chocolate with hints of floral flavor and white wine. Santo Domingo is also a very complicated bar to describe (like describing a glass of wine).

May 7, 2007
10:38 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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October 13, 2009
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quote:


Originally posted by ChemicalMachine

I sampled the Santo Domingo 67% again today, and I found it pleasurable.

The flavors are pleasant and develop slowly. I find the tasting notes on the packaging accurate, although they fail to mention the flavor contribution of the milk.


I wouldn't call a milky flavour noticeable in the SD or in the Sao Tome. However, both have a very pronounced vanilla flavour - and this is a common flavour in milk chocolates, not to mention a flavour strongly associated with milk in general, so it could be what you are detecting.

The ingredient label does list milk as an ingredient, but it's at the end of the list, following vanilla and soy lecithin, both of which are never more that a trace percentage. I suspect its inclusion is more a case of CYA, i.e. since it's manufactured on equipment also used to produce milk chocolate they have it on the label to make sure there are no legal troubles should someone become deathly ill. Nonetheless, it's conceivable that they're adding a tiny amount, for unclear reasons.

The DR and the ST are both reasonably good, nothing super-special but certainly worthy of tasting. The Arriba (which is a genuine high-percentage milk), however, is disappointing, rather weak and pallid, which is too bad because IMHO Arriba could produce a great milk chocolate (see for example Coppeneur's Hacienda Iara milk). It doesn't even come close to the Cluizel Mangaro Lait which remains the reference standard.

Meanwhile, there's also the non-varietal Cacao Reserve bars, both of which aren't even in the same class as the above. The Extra Dark (65%) is incredibly one-sided, tasting entirely of cinnamon. And - would you believe - an inspection of its ingredient label reveals that there is more milkfat in it than cocoa butter! I think we now need to add "butterlate" to "vegelate" as a classification of quasi-chocolates. As one might expect, the texture is, therefore, problematic, far too soft and fudgy. Meanwhile the milk chocolate is hyper-sweet, and I can't say I find it noticeably different from Hershey's Symphony.

quote:


The bar states that the chocolate is manufactured "in Germany for The Hershey Company". This suggest that Hershey is purchasing the chocolate rather than producing it independently. Does anyone know who actually makes this chocolate?


The mould looks like the same one Rausch uses in the bars they've made for various other house-brands. This is also the same mould used by the Sainsbury's-branded Organic chocolate (also labelled as Made in Germany), btw. I was quite impressed with the Sainsbury's bar, although the Hershey's-branded ones aren't quite that good. Still, at least the varietals seem to represent some sort of genuine effort. Note that the non-varietals are apparently not made by this company but by Hershey's themselves.

What I don't understand is, why are they doing this at all? Having bought a high-end manufacturer (Scharffen Berger), it makes no sense to compete with themselves by offering a house brand in addition. From a marketing standpoint, it is much more sensible to concentrate their quality resources into SB, which has existing brand equity in the good chocolate market, then to try to build any sort of product identity for the Hershey's brand name that associates it with quality chocolate. All that does is end up muddying very clear product position and therefore shooting themselves in the foot.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
May 8, 2007
5:07 am
johnhart52
Seabrook, TX, USA
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April 23, 2007
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It may be that Hershey doesn't mind competing with itself. The fact is that Hershey has a built-in presence and acceptance in American grocery and supermarket retailers, and has for decades, and the Cacao Reserve line will fit there with very little additional marketing cost, whereas Scharffen Berger is not all that well-known to the general public that hasn't paid attention to what is happening in the chocolate market (that would be the vast majority, by the way!).

Those consumers could be persuaded to purchase a bar that indicates a premium product if they see a familiar name like Hershey on it, and if that spurs an interest in finer chocolates, the Scharffen Berger line may benefit from that. Or maybe not, but Hershey gets the sale either way. And, probably just as importantly to Hershey, they keep the other companies from making the sale, and they keep that customer "in the family". I can readily see an average American grocery customer saying to themselves, "Oh, cool, Hershey's has a premium limited-edition line of chocolate, just like that Vintner's Reserve wine from Kendall Jackson I got over on Aisle Five". It appeals to the sense of exclusivity and specialness to the buyer, while still being a safe, fairly predictable purchase. And if it helps the palate grow, so much the better for everyone!

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