Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E. Guittard Ambanja 65% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate

Manufacturer: Guittard Chocolate Company
Cocoa Content: 65%
Manufacturer Website
Rating: B

Up for review today is the Ambanja dark chocolate from E. Guittard. The Ambanja is made from Criollo cocoa beans from the Sambirano Valley in Madagascar. The bar is rather light brown in color for a 65% cacao chocolate, along with some orange/red/yellow highlights. The Ambanja leads with a rich chocolate flavor on the palate that has notable, yet balanced, sweetness. Acidity slowly builds to a moderate level. Red fruit notes of pomegranate and cherry are present, along with a banana/plantain note. Some floral and herbal flavors are present as well.

Chewing the Ambanja opens up sweet aromatics of vanilla and caramel, along with some floral notes. The finish has cherries over a faint bitter note. The mouthfeel has some barely noticable grit, but is otherwise thick and creamy. While the Ambanja leaves a nice initial impression, I find that the floral notes clash a bit with the bitterness and acidity in a way that ends up leaving a bit of a medicinal aftertaste. A decent chocolate, but has some room for improvement.

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