October 13, 2009
Those of your perusing the ratings will certainly note my positive review for Lindt's Madagascar 65%. It seems they don't tire of tinkering with this one - new bars are again 70%: not the old one as on the site but another new formulation.
Unfortunately here Lindt seems to have taken a step backward. The bar is pleasant enough but unexciting. Most of the aroma is vanilla, perhaps with touches of almond and woods, but it doesn't match the complexity of the 65%. Flavour is a greater loss. If ever a bar were to be said to taste like a vanilla bean this would be it. It almost seems as though they've put an entire vanilla pod into each bar. Truly overwhelming. There's also a disturbing dominant cardboardy note, reminiscent of Coppeneur. You can identify the same nice flavours they had in the 65%: the blueberry and nuts, but they're drowned out here in vanilla, and, incidentally, too much cocoa butter. The bar now has a decidedly greasy mouthfeel, yet without the effortless melt of Hachez, a chocolate which certainly has too much cocoa butter but where at least they've used it to good effect. Here the result isn't as favourable.
The new bars are still quality chocolate in an absolute sense, and it's encouraging to see Lindt starting to eschew lecithin as well, (none in this bar), so I think they're still trying, but the latest experiment isn't the success of the previous one. I'd like to see it be a consistent reality that quality chocolate could be available to the mass market - and Lindt is surely the best candidate. But they need to improve here: reduce the cocoa butter and the vanilla, get back to basics.
April 20, 2008