Friday, December 31, 2010

Scharffen Berger Ben Tre 72% Dark Chocolate

Manufacturer: Scharffen Berger
Cocoa Content: 72%
Location: Vietnam
Manufacturer Website
Rating: A

Up for review today is a single source dark chocolate bar from Scharffen Berger, the Ben Tre. This is a 72% bar made with cacao from Vietnam. The bar is a deep brown with lots of red and purple.

At first taste the palate is immediately hit with an intense, rich chocolate flavor. There are some spice notes here, with cinnamon and a touch of black pepper. This bar has a very lively, almost juicy, acidity which brings out flavors of green banana, pineapple, strawberries and citrus. Chewing the Ben Tre brings forward vanilla, fresh strawberries and cinnamon. The chocolate melts to a smooth, creamy consistency with a bit of a cooling sensation. The finish has a squirt of lemon with a dash of cinnamon. At the very tail end, there is a hint of herbal bitterness.

When I took my first taste of the Ben Tre, I literally said "Wow" out loud. This bar has an insanely good, rich chocolate flavor and a great, vibrant acidity. I really want to give this bar an A+ rating based on taste alone, but there are a few minor issues separating this bar from perfection. First, the acidity is so dominant that some subtle undertones are a bit muted. Secondly, there is a faint off note of herbal bitterness at the tail end. Despite these quibbling issues, the folks at Hershey have nailed it with the Scharffen Berger Ben Tre. You owe it to yourself to try this dark chocolate bar ASAP.

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