Trincheras, Hungary, Venezuela, 70%
The aroma and appearance of Trincheras do not prepare you for the journey ahead. The chocolate is thin and is cloaked in a symmetrical floral design that reminds me of vintage tin ceiling tiles. It doesn’t smell particularly assertive but has a gentle herbaceous nature which is fresh and slightly resinous. It’s thickness aids to its crisp snap.
It’s smooth on the tongue but, to be honest, you hardly notice the mouthfeel at all when you first taste it. Unlike its aroma, the flavor is full of power. The herbal smell explodes into rosemary and thyme that verges on melted rubber, paint or permanent markers. It falls all over your palate with real weight.
It quickly settles in but doesn’t settle down. Peaty, loamy and salty like Scotch whiskey. Black olives. Mossy dark flavors. Marine oil. Again, it’s full of heavy flavor.
As intense as that experience is it disappears quickly which leaves your mouth searching: a flavor firework. As it leaves there are lingering notes of leather, plastic and anise but the finish is comparatively calm and subtle.
Its overall lack of sweetness really lets its range of flavors come forward and the smooth mouth-feel really aids in spreading the flavor quickly. There’s no doubt that will be a love-it-or-hate-it chocolate. Even if you hate it you’ll have to hand it to Rozsavolgyi that they have made something unique. If you’re a Scotch fan or love Jagermeister, olives, or just want a new experience, this won’t disappoint.
For me: I love it. And not just because it’s bold. (Though the intensity is very addictive.) The flavors just keep pulling me back in.
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.