Hacienda el Rosario, France, Venezuela, 75%
Bonnat displays a lot of nostalgic charm in their bars. Visually the bar, both the packaging and the mold of the chocolate itself, have a classic aesthetic that show off its heritage. Familiarity can bring comfort. And that extends into the flavor too.
The bars hefty dimensions and multiple scores make the chocolate seem large in your hand and the subtle texture gives it bit of extra heft. It has a sweet and slightly earthy aroma, a bit like sugary caramels with a touch of turmeric, which is pleasant. It snaps cleanly and crispy though its thickness renders the scores useless and it just breaks where it wants to. Once it’s in the mouth it continues its sweet allure with a creamy melt that gives your tongue a luscious coating.
The flavor starts with a slight bitterness, which is nice considering how sweet it smells. A little bit like the citrus piths. There are some mellow roasted nut flavors that have some earth to them – I was reminded of caramelized almonds and cocoa nibs. The melt happens pretty fast once it gets going and it tempts you to press it with your tongue. It’s pretty pleasing.
As it continues to melt the sweetness starts to really ramp up. Roasted flavors turn milky and mellow like Vietnamese coffee. The sweetness doesn’t really abate as it melts so I enjoyed chewing it up more than simply melting it in my mouth. Letting it melt pushed the sweet factor really high. However the actual finish is slightly tannic.
The overall sweetness makes it a little hard to catch subtleties in the flavor over the lifespan of the tasting. Sugar washes away much of the center once it hits high gear which it does quickly. However it hits all the marks of a “delicious chocolate”. It’s also really, really easy to eat due to its low acidity and overall creaminess. If you don’t like sweet chocolate this won’t be your ticket.
This would be a great bar to just eat with friends as the sweetmeat on a table over drinks. Its flavor, texture and appearance give the bar a welcoming nature. Especially if you have a sweet tooth or want to feel a little spoiled.
Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.