• Our rating: 84.0% (1 review)
  • Company:
  • Cacao solids: 83%
  • Guide Price: £3.50
  • Description by: Alex Rast
  • Production: Produced directly from beans by maker
  • Certification:
    • None
  • Ingredients:
    • Cocoa beans, organic sugar & cocoa butter, soya lecithin

Deep, warm flavours with hints of citrus, soft fruit & bananas

Red Star Chocolate – Corazon del Ecuador 83%—Chocolate Review Rating: 84.0% out of 100 based on 1 reviews.

Red Star Chocolate – Corazon del Ecuador 83%

The strongest of the new bars from Red Star: a full-force attempt at an “ultra-bittersweet”. This one has a familiar origin, which will add reassurance, but also will place fairly strong expectations about how it “should” taste. One suspects, however, that the high percentage will attract those not easily intimidated, so this is a bar that may well find its niche amongst the adventurous, especially given the English production. Artisanal manufacture in the UK is a recent phenomenon, starting to gain momentum – this bar clearly suggest how far the manufacturers are ready to push right from the get-go.


Alex Rast: 26-Oct-2010

Posted: October 26, 2010 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
Best before:
Batch num:
Supplied by:

Another winner from Red Star, at a more aggressive percentage, and showing clearly that Duffy Sheardown has confidence in his sources as well as processes. This one might feel a little more austere than the rest of the line, as might be expected at the percentage, but avoids the common flat, ashy finish of so many ultra-bittersweets. It’s not quite identical to a “typical” Ecuador but will present familiar flavours and a clear style that places Red Star in the stylistic curve somewhere between Amedei, Bonnat, and Pralus. Obviously a company to watch for the future!

A rather sinister dark brown colour announces clearly the high percentage of this chocolate, as well as the typical presentation of Ecuador origins. Some bubbling on the surface suggests maybe just slightly rushed moulding, although an otherwise almost perfect finish demonstrates care in production. Aroma is immediately comforting and rich. It’s fairly basic but appealing in its simplicity, raisin and coffee prevailing, with a hint of earthy, although a slight suggestion of cardboard indicates that perhaps a minor decrease in roast would be valuable.

Most of the flavour is simply a confirmation of the aroma, with powerful chocolatey with raisin being the frontal characteristics. Later the flavour moves more towards earthy and coffee, but hints of nuts and balsamic relieve any sense of monotony and indicate that if the roast was a touch too long, it was only by the barest touch. By the finish the low sugar percentage really makes itself felt, the taste assuming a stern, austere quality but nonetheless a noble one.

The melt is quite good, although perhaps a little dry relative to what one usually finds at this percentage, smooth and creamy if not completely effortless. It seems to fit well with the flavour, which again is familiar and well-developed if a bit challenging. Here is a chocolate which will appeal to those who like their chocolate to have a certain defiance. It certainly reminds one strongly of the typical Ecuador, but in a way that resists stereotyping. In the final analysis, it might be that slighly less accomplished than the Honduras Indio Rojo, but only by a small margin, and how much of this is the effect of the more assertive percentage? It serves only to confirm the astonishing technical skill Red Star seems to have achieved right from the outset. Expect great things from Red Star in future.

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