Gran Cacao chocolate. Typically when dealing with the title "Grand Cru" or Gran Cacao in this case, it usually means blend or best of. In this case it's the best of their blends from South America. There are no listings on what specific origins are in this bar though.
Type: Extra bittersweet 90%
Bean Varietal: Unknown, Blend
Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, natural vanilla.
Sample Size: 100g or 3.5oz
Lot #: I 606
Appearance: Deep dark brown color, large tab molding with singature molding patterns. Shiny smooth surface, slightly a little dusty, with some slight plastic matting marks on the surface.
Snap: Light clean crisp snap, clean break lines. Thin molding lines give way to much smaller snap quality.
Aroma: Soft roasted cacao, wood slightly tannic, acidic nose, almondsvery subtle smoke and tobacco, slightly spicy, a little bit moldy and earthy smelling.
Taste: Roasted, bitter, mildly acidic but no astringency, soft, wood earthy, dry, light and very soft flowery perfume taste on the finish but very faint. You have to wait until the deep bitter flavor dissipates to detect it.
Texture: Hard, a little dry, but not waxy. Long melt-time but opens up to a medium bodied texture.
The snap quality is good despite how I scored it. It was firm and it was clean. It's just how they mold it that I don't like. Overly large tabs and thin-ish snap lines. With a hard textured chocolate, it's very hard to bite into and too large to let one tab melt on your palate.
I wasn't feeling this one as much. It's definitely a lot smoother than the Tropicale 90%, but it's almost too soft. As aggressive as the Tropicale was, there was full flavor in there with gorgeous black tea and jasmine flavors. This was just deeply bitter, roasted cacao with earthy wood tastes. There was a very slight perfume-y, flower taste detected from retro-olfaction. But as mentioned above, I had to wait a while until that bitter taste eased up on the palate. It's certainly not bad. Just not spectacular either. And this was a Grand Cru bar. Although the acidity is there, there is virtually no astringency which made this fairly mild to eat despite it's robust cacao percentage. It's deeply bitter but not sharp. The Italians, I find, are amazing about these high percentage cacao bars without that rough jabbing astringency that gets you in the neck and glands. You know that sharp reaction. This had none of that.
It had a full and complicated aroma. In fact that aroma on this bar was the best part. I just felt like it sort of fell flat on it's flavor. I don't think this is very exceptional for eating, but with some added sugar and vanilla I am sure I can bake something fantastic with this.
Final Score: 90.8