Apamate, Barlovento, Venezuela, 73.5%
El Rey’s Apamate is surprisingly light considering that it takes some considerable force to snap. You expect a dense fog of flavor but it’s actually a little demure and takes a bit of work to get the most out of.
Although it’s only relatively thick this bar is really solid and has quite a bit of heft to it. The same goes for its mouth feel as well. It’s slow melt allows you to enjoy its gentle profile for quite some time, but I found its character only fully came out when you crushed it in your molars. Pre-snap its aroma is close to something like Play-Doh, a little on the musty side, but smelling a fresh edge hints at dark fruits and sweet grass.
It crumbs when you bite it and I think that’s where most of its impact lies. Though even “impact” might be a little too strong a word. Brazil nuts, unshelled peanuts and sugar cane were what I thought of right away. It’s slightly waxy too, both in flavor and feel, so beeswax seemed like a natural conclusion as well. The majority of this bars flavor are right in the middle, not much darkness, not a lot of highs and not much acidity. Boring? Possibly. I found a little bit of green-ness in the sweet side of it and I wish that was a bit more prominent. The fruits all seemed to have walked away too…
Overall you could say that the bar has an inoffensive profile. It’s not far off the beaten path and there’s no shame in doing that game well. If you’re a fan of Bonnat I would recommend this right away as it seems like a rustic cousin. If you have weak teeth, or dentures, you’re gonna want to use a knife on this first.
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.