Green & Black’s Dark 85% 76.5/100

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This bar is made from organic trinitario beans that are fair trade certified. Originally founded by Craig Sams in 1991, Green & Blacks is now owned and operated by Mondelez International.

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The slightly darker more intense brother or sister of the Green & Blacks 70% bar, this bar offers more cocoa and less sugar. I’ve tried this bar before, back in my dark cocoa eating days before craft chocolate was more readily available and remember eating it a number of times. I’m expecting something very similar to back then, high quality and consistent industrial style processing, with smooth archetypal chocolate flavours that offer something accessible, but not independently interesting. Opening the bar it’s the familiar 10 x 3 G&B small block mould and some fairly decent chocolate work. Breaking a piece off reveals some cocoa aromas with this blanket of smooth buttery vanilla tones. Placing a piece in my mouth reveals a thick somewhat fudgey display of full textures with a slightly coating feel. To taste this bar presents itself predominantly as bittersweet bakers chocolate, but underneath the simple unrefined flavours there’s hints of sour red berries and delicate flavours like vanilla sponge, they’re just overwhelmed and underdeveloped. Generally this is a bar that tries to mask its unapproachability with processing, by adding vanilla and trying to distract from the simple bitter flavours. It’s a bar that encourages you to chew rather than melt the chocolate in order to bring out additional sharp acidity and sweetness. In the end the bar offers an attempt to make extra dark chocolate approachable, but it lacks the kind of natural balance required to pull this off, requiring more development to offer contrast to the bitter flavours. This percentage of chocolate, using these beans helps to make argument for 70% chocolate, but it is worth noting there are some impressive 85% bars out there.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cocoa butter, fat-reduced cocoa powder, raw cane sugar, vanilla extract (all organic)

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Darker muddy brown
Texture: Polished sandstone
Mould: 10 x 3 G&B apostrophe mould
Snap: Crisp, thick
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss consistent

Aroma 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Cocoa, vanilla, butter, wood
Quality: Smooth, forced

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Long, heavy
Evenness: Even
Texture: Thick, fudgey
Quality: Full, coating

Acidity 7.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 3
Notes: Sour red berries, plum
Quality: Sharp, overwhelmed

Sweetness 7/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Vanilla sponge, burnt honeycomb
Quality: Underdeveloped, distant

Flavour 7/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Bitter, sweet
Notes: Bakers chocolate, vanilla, sponge, red berries, butter
Quality: Simple, overly bitter

Length 8.5/10

Flavours lengthen over the melt and become more rounded, ending better than they start, bitter and vanilla are the predominant lengthy flavours

Finish 8/10

Notes: Caramel, cocoa, bakers chocolate
Quality: There’s a flash of caramel on the finish, before a long lingering cocoa

Balance 6/10

Lack of balance is masked by addition of vanilla, bitter cocoa dominates everything and sweetness takes a back seat, heavy structure keeps bar consistent

Overall 7.5/10

There is depth of flavour here, but little dimension, there’s neither complexity nor balance in the resulting flavour, expression is true of a blended poorer quality cacao, masked or improved by some processing techniques


Green & Blacks’ Tasting Notes:
A generous measure of Madagascan vanilla was essential to this bar; not only does this spice lend its distinctive flavour to the chocolate but it also rounds out the bitter notes and acidity of the cocoa. We select the finest organic ingredients and take extra care to bring out the distinct flavour that has become our trademark.

 

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