Chocolat Bonnat Brazil Kaori 75% 93/100

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Kaori means fragrance in Japanese and owes its name to the Japanese community that cultivates this cacao in Brazil. Once harvested the beans are shipped to Voiron in France where Stephane Bonnat turns it into one of his ‘Les Grand Crus’. Chocolat Bonnat have too much history and expertise to write about here, but have a plethora of information available on their website http://www.bonnat-chocolatier.com/fr including an ungodly array of single origin and grand cru chocolate bars for you to marvel at. 

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I’ve tried some Brazilian cocoa before, but given the vast size of the country I’m still not sure of a general Brazilian profile when it comes to flavour. My initial experiences pointed at archetypal flavours of cocoa, caramel and nuts, but I’ve since experienced fruity flavours and even the possibility of some florals. Bonnat’s M. Libanio was fruity and their Vale do Juliana was caramel and nuts with a fruity background, so maybe this will follow suit and contain caramels, nuts and some fruit, at this point I’m just not sure. Opening the bar I’m presented with the usual high quality Bonnat chocolate work and Voiron mould, breaking off a piece with a crisp snap, the aroma presents itself with some florals at the front reminiscent of violets and some sweet sugary notes towards the back of the fragrance. Placing a piece in my mouth it’s the usual creamy smooth Bonnat mouthfeel, but I’d say this has its glossiness at the front. To taste it opens up bright and sweet with floral and white sugar notes at the front before roasted flavours begin to take over. This bar develops over the course of the melt getting ever more darker, heading towards treacle toffee sponge via dates and roasted nuts. There’s a brightness to both the acidity and the sweetness that helps keep the bar uplifted and at its essence this bar presents dark roasted bitter flavour groups but only the sweet and developed side of those flavours. This simply is a display of complex sugars, rich, sweet and developed, dark but bright with plenty of length and sufficient balance. If you’re a fan of sticky toffee pudding or roasted nuts, like dark roast coffee or treacle tarts then this is definitely the bar for you, easy to enjoy and thoroughly rich, this one’s probably best saved for dessert.

Ingredients: Cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar

Appearance 9.5/10

Colour: Darker treacly brown
Texture: Very smooth
Mould: Bonnat Voiron centre with 6×5 fingers
Snap: Very Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy, consistent

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Intense floral cacao, violets, sugar, treacle
Quality: Sweet, fragrant, distinctive

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Glossy, creamy
Quality: Smooth, consistent, refined

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 3
Notes: Date, coconut milk
Quality: Uplifting, bright

Sweetness 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Floral vanilla sugar, nutty caramel, honey, treacle toffee
Quality: Developed, bright, subtly complex, dimensioned

Flavour 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Bitter Violets, roast, cream, date, roast hazelnuts, treacle sponge
Quality: Developed, dimensioned, deep

Length 9.5/10

Flavours are long and bold with dark sugar flavours developing over the course of the melt, arcing rounds come from the light acidity

Finish 9.5/10

Notes: Roasted nuts, caramel, treacle toffee sponge
Quality: Flavours of roasted nuts fill the end before a heavy caramel finish that leaves flavours of treacle toffee sponge lingering for an age

Balance 9/10

Bar leans a little to the sweet side with dominant dark sugar flavours, but creaminess and acidity help to bring this back to centre, medium structure provides some anchoring, enough to keep the bar in check

Overall 9.5/10

Bar has plenty of depth and dark sugar flavours have a wealth of dimension, complexities are fairly well balanced, structure is consistent, expression is honest of terroir and processing provides plenty of developed flavour and creaminess

Chocolat Bonnat’s Tasting Notes: Created in 2015, this magnificent chocolate is made from cocoa beans grown in fragrant and fertile lands. It has a soft and sunny fragrance, which is round in the mouth.

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