Lauden Ghana 44% Milk 87/100

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Using cocoa beans from Ghana, Sun and Stephen Trigg use their chocolate know how to help turn these into one of their dark milk chocolate bars at their workshop in Kirkstall, Leeds.

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Most of the chocolate I’ve tried from Ghana hasn’t been of particularly high quality and they’re not known necessarily for their high quality cocoa, but I do get the impression that what good cocoa they do have would probably do pretty well in milk. Milk has a tendency to turn dark earthy and bitter flavours in chocolate into smooth caramels making it considerably more palatable. My expectations here are for that process, for the bar to offer pretty archetypal chocolate flavours and essentially pretty archetypal milk chocolate flavours, but hopefully with some intensity and refinement from the darker percentage. Opening the packaging presents a bar with some decent tempering and breaking a piece off shows an unusual aerated fudge style texture, no doubt owing to the milk. The aroma is fairly archetypal, but it’s rich and honest giving off notes of caramel and a hint of fresh milk. Placing a piece in my mouth the texture is atypical of good milk chocolate, is creamy and smooth, although as with most bars that include milk the length of the melt is shortened a little. To taste the bar has a rounded sweetness that pervades into the flavour, it’s a journey of sweet caramel which reminds me a lot of millionaires shortbread – I always knew it as Mars bar cake, thanks to my Grandma. There’s a simplicity to the flavour, I wouldn’t describe this bar as complex, but the simple flavour is pleasant, it’s creams, caramels and cocoa with a slightly butterscotchy finish. A decent finish and balance help to make this bar enjoyable, but essentially this is a pleasurable dark milk bar, that’s accessible and simple, it’s not going to blow you away, but it won’t disappoint you either.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, emulsifier:soya lecithin, natural vanilla flavouring & powder

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Soft milky brown
Texture: Aerated fudge
Mould: 5×3 Lauden imprint indent cubes
Snap: Soft click
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Caramel, milk
Quality: Light, rich, honest

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Medium
Evenness: Even
Texture: Creamy, smooth caramel
Quality: Texturally present, smooth

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 2
Notes: Milk
Quality: Balancing, a little sour

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Caramel, light muscovado, butterscotch
Quality: Rounded, light

Flavour 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10):
Type: Sweet
Notes: Cream, caramel, cocoa, shortbread
Quality: Balanced, rounded, simple

Length 8.5/10

Flavours have a decent length rounding on the turn of the light acidity

Finish 9/10

Notes: Butterscotch, shortbread, cocoa, milk
Quality: Caramels develop into butterscotch and shortbread that fill the finish, while millionaires shortbread and milk flavours linger on after the finish

Balance 9/10

Bar is fairly smooth and balanced, complementary flavours work well together providing confectionary tones, medium structure provides some stability and some freedom

Overall 8.5/10

Bar has some depth, but lacks some dimension, simple complexity is easily balanced, medium structure remains consistent, expression seems honest of a high percentage milk, processing creates a smooth and even finish


Lauden’s Tasting Notes:
Creamy and smooth with notes of caramel & hazelnut

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