• Our rating: 85.8% (3 reviews)
  • Company:
  • Cacao solids: 75%
  • Guide Price: £2.95, $6.49
  • Description by: Seventy%
  • Production: Unknown
  • Certification:
    • None
  • Ingredients:
    • Cocoa beans
    • Sugar
    • Cocoa Butter

"A marvellous cacao from Venezuela, full of delicate flavours"

Bonnat – Hacienda El RosarioChocolate Review Rating: 85.8% out of 100 based on 3 reviews.

Bonnat – Hacienda El Rosario

Bonnat’s attempt at the single-estate bar, from Maracaibo. While Bonnat actually has better chocolates, this one is very distinctive in its mild but highly developed flavour. It’s a departure from Bonnat’s more typical style, although paradoxically while distinctive for Bonnat it has a flavour that perhaps has found too much popularity among other manufacturers, so that it’s a bit like a “generic single-estate”.

Reviews

Hans-Peter Rot: 10-Sep-2005

Posted: September 10, 2005 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
INFO
Best before:
Batch num:
Source:
Supplied by:

Together, packaging and bar evoke a nostalgic feel, the former being ornately decorated, the latter being simply molded and not among the shiniest of surfaces, showing carefree simplicity of a bygone era. Color and aroma reinforce each other with a brooding redness that befits the origin accordingly, but more character is detected in the nose. The scent is deep and bold, very heavy in fact, but also extremely weak in its delivery like a once potent red wine deadened by air and age. Hopefully, the cacao hasn’t been roasted to death, as suggestive as these signs may be.

Immediately, El Rosario conveys darkness and a full-bodied weight on the palate, one that is deep and bold and instantly chocolaty. Red fruits take the lead with a robust character since there is practically no acidity here. If you want that, go to Puerto Cabello. Then, an unusual dough-like flavor emerges – similar to freshly cooked semolina pasta – and quickly evolves into cream. Cream and red fruits continue throughout the length in classic Venezuelan fashion until strong notes of nuts take over to finish things up. It’s a strong finale, very chocolaty and satisfying, but regrettably the finish is much too short.

Texturally, for Bonnat, the chocolate never reaches a top notch smoothness to match the high caliber flavor. Some dryness is evoked, but it never detracts from the chocolate in a sense, just making one wonder why Bonnat can’t get it right. Resting near Lake Maracaibo, El Rosario shares many characteristics of its regional kin and indeed might seem like just another clone of other similarly sourced bars available. But in reality, the chocolate is a wonderful example of how to treat this cacao, and that simplicity of flavor when combined with a solid chocolate flavor can go a long way. Bonnat manages to keep things fresh and interesting, never lapsing into boredom that one might experience with other limited origins such as Ghana.

Alex Rast: 5-Jun-2005

Posted: June 5, 2005 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
INFO
Best before:
Batch num:
Source:
Supplied by:

Bonnat’s attempt at the single-estate bar, from Maracaibo. While Bonnat actually has better chocolates, this one is very distinctive in its mild but highly developed flavour. It’s a departure from Bonnat’s more typical style, although paradoxically while distinctive for Bonnat it has a flavour that perhaps has found too much popularity among other manufacturers, so that it’s a bit like a “”generic single-estate””

The bar looks very good at unwrapping, not seeming to have suffered the shipping visscitudes common for Bonnat bars, and a very attractive red-brown in colour – a stamp of a first-rate Criollo lineage. It’s not perfectly moulded, but this is nothing new for Bonnat nor really any cause for concern.

The aroma has the sharp attack of a strong red wine or possibly a balsamic vinegar. Here there must have been a pretty intense ferment. It’s also suggestive of a shorter roast. Initially the reaction is to draw back but actually this aroma usually indicates good things to come. The flavour confirms that assumption. It’s a very mild strawberries and cream tone, with absolutely no bitterness, very similar to Porcelana beans – i.e. of Criollo beans of the finest caliber. Traces of the wine aroma show up in the finish, along with a surprise guest – molasses, which lets the flavour linger and stay interesting.

Texture is more or less average, nothing to shout about, and a bit dry. Bonnat doesn’t usually seem to pay much attention to texture and here again this is borne out. What they have done with this bar, it would seem, is give it a shorter roast and a longer ferment, a pretty clean break from the Bonnat stylistic trends. One gets the impression of a chocolatier coming across a lovely cacao and having been afraid to treat it too roughly lest it break, almost as though they’d found a precious emerald.

Martin Christy: 28-Jun-2003

Posted: June 28, 2003 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
INFO
Best before:
Batch num:
Source:
Supplied by:

Much redder in colour than others in the Bonnat range, but still with the slightly fudge-like translucence that comes from the high cocoa butter content used. At the same time the bar looks to have a certain marble like solidity, and has a fairly good snap. Aroma is classic Venezuelan, with dark fruit hints along with strong tobacco and faint cheese.

The initial taste is surprising and sharp, but not unpleasant – a combination of iron, vodka and almonds dominate the initial cool melt before mellower soft hazelnuts, vanilla and rose settle into a more chocolaty creaminess. The melt is easy, as would be expected with extra cocoa butter, with the typical Bonnat grittiness. Length is clean but without any further excitement. The ‘iron’ taste hangs around, but is not ‘off’.

All in all a very interesting new offering from Bonnat, some might find the flavour too far away from ‘chocolate’, but this is one of the better Venezuelan origin bars around.

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