This bar is made with Arriba cocoa beans from Ecuador, considered as some of the finest flavour beans of the Forastero variety. Once harvested these beans are shipped to Barcelona where Chocolate Amatller founded way back in 1797 use their chocolate expertise to turn these into one of their chocolate bars.
My experience of Ecuadorian cocoa tends to be one of classic chocolate flavours that are well presented. A mixture of chocolateyness and cocoa flavours mixed with caramels and the possibility of lemon, milk and nuts. I think this experience might be more precisely of Ecuador as a country wide origin or of arriba cacao as I have tried a few bars, which break from this mould and display more individual characteristics. My expectations here are that this might be one of the more traditionally flavoured bars with refined chocolate flavours and my hope is that this holds up under the weight of 85% cocoa. Opening the bar there’s some large branded Amatller squares offering a long full melt, the aroma’s confirm my expectations with intense cocoa and some hints of nuts. The smooth melt leads into flavours of nuts, cream, cocoa and honey with a slightly confectionary like sweetness and low sweet orange acidity. There’s a full flavour here, but it’s not complex or fruity or challenging in anyway, this is a simple or should I say archetypal expression of chocolate that has depth, but lacks dimension. If you’re looking for a bar that tastes like chocolate, is simplistic in its expression and is particularly smooth, rich and sweet for a high percentage then this does a pretty a good job. With quality processing, archetypal flavours and a rich profile this is an ideal bar for a no nonsense chocolate fan.
Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar
Colour: Darker brown
Texture: Smooth, polished sanstone
Mould: 4 x 2 Amatller branded squares
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss
Notes: Intense cocoa, nuts, hazelnuts
Quality: Simplistic, rich
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Smooth, cream
Quality: Full, fine
Notes: Sweet orange
Notes: Confectioners cream, honey
Quality: Rich, bright
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Hazelnuts, cream, praline, honey
Quality: Simple, rich, archetypal
Flavours have a medium to long length and round particularly smoothly
Notes: Praline, cream, cocoa
Quality: Notes of praline fill the finish before a creamy cocoa is left reminiscent of hot chocolate
There’s not a lot of complexity or acidity to balance here, smooth and creamy nutty chocolate flavours stay in harmony and balance throughout, medium structure is enough to anchor these simple flavours
Theres depth here, but not a huge degree of dimension, there’s no complexity to balance and medium structure remains uniform, expression seems honest of a countrywide origin, processing brings out the creamy nature of the cacao
Chocolate Amatller’s Tasting Notes: The Ecuadorian Arriba cocoa is of the Forastero variety and is ranked among the cocoas considered “Finos de Aroma”. It is a harmonious and delicate cocoa, with light floral touches that combine perfectly with notes of dried fruit.