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Valrhona 85% - one question: "why?"
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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 12, 2005 - 7:26 pm
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What can I say other than that this bar is basically almost an utter failure? With some positive aspects, the negative ones far outweigh the former, and thus make for a less than desirable eat. First off, there is a burnt ashiness and extreme bitter tone immediately. As with most Valrhona bars, flavor development takes a while, and when the bitterness and burnt tone subside slightly, a tart and almost sweet red fruit tone (perhaps currants or cherries) emerges, which btw, is the only other flavor present. This tone slowly disappears into the burnt ashiness and burnt tone, which lasts through the finish. The overall chocolate sensation is rather strong, as expected from an 80% class chocolate, but the flavors and burnt tone really leave a lot to be desired. Texture is, of course, excellent with a pastiness uncommon for Valrhona, but common for an 80% class chocolate.

What puzzles me is why Varhona chose the "finest cocoa beans from Africa" for this bar. As we all know, most African beans are Forestero, and because they're rather bitter, they require a slightly longer roasting time. Furthermore, why would Valrhona (a light roaster, mind you) use such bitter beans for a high percentage bar? Apparently, Valrhona failed to match roasting time with bean selection and thus produced the least palatable 80% class chocolate I have ever eaten. These mysteries dumbfound and bewilder me.

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Martin Christy
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January 13, 2005 - 12:42 am
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Did you buy this in Valrhona branded wrapping? As I understand it, this is meant as a 'white label' wholesale offering for retailers to put their own brand onto - there are a few others in this range to. So I don't think it's meant to be seen as Valrhona or come up to their usual retail standard. Is that what you're talking about?

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 13, 2005 - 1:22 am
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This bar has Valrhona packaging, the same as their other 100g bars; the signature "V" on the front is purple, and the bar is called "Le Noir Extra Amer." Valrhona also has two other bars you may not know about: 56% flavored with coffee; and another 56% flavored with orange. These are available in the US in certain stores, but http://www.chocosphere.com also has them.

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JasonBunting
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July 27, 2005 - 9:10 pm
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I too was disappointed with this one. It was nasty, to say the least. All I could think and taste after a few bits was that it had a strong sharp cheese flavor, maybe slightly like bleu cheese. Not my style.

j a s o n   b u n t i n g

j a s o n b u n t i n g
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Hans-Peter Rot
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July 28, 2005 - 12:21 am
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The metallic notes were too much for me. I don't know if I recall cheese, but I have another bar of this, so I will re-taste later. Someone gave it to me, so I felt obliged to accept it. Looks like I have some rough tasting ahead of me.

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Viscouse
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August 15, 2005 - 1:40 am
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I just picked this one up. Maybe shouldn't have. [:(]

I looked in the Chocopaedia & didn't find it there. Any plans to add it?

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Hans-Peter Rot
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August 15, 2005 - 1:45 am
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I have a review for this waiting to be posted [}:)] Once Martin has the new software installed, expect to see it along with many more [:D]

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asmokemezzo
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December 8, 2005 - 7:33 pm
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I am now trying this bar for the first time and I wish I'd read the review first! I don't dislike it as much as such negative reviews would suggest I should, but it's definitely not among my favorites in the 80-85% class. Unfortunately, Valrhona is so ubiquitous that it may become a standard in my repertoire just for lack of immediate availability of anything better. I should probably just order a case of something I really like and call it a day...

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