Richard's Rating: 9.0
The ingredients of Madagascar were the same as Art Pollard's other chocolates: cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter made from the same cacao beans, and vanilla beans. He also used the same ratio of 70% cocoa solids.
The two ounce bar was scored into 15 pieces, each with an imprint of the company name and emblem. It came wrapped in gold-sided foil and packaged inside a glossy paper box. A sticker on the back of the box identified lot number 3/4/90E and a best before date of October 2013.
Madagascar had a medium-light brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431) color. The surface was smooth, with some barely noticeable scuffing. The snap was medium hard.
The aroma contained scents of tobacco and cocoa roast, along with a berry fruit, and a strong vanilla. I also smelled a hint of cinnamon..
I initially tasted sweetness, and then the chocolate revealed a lovely combination of fruit flavors: citrus that was more orange than lime along with berry that was a combination of strawberry and raspberry. Vanilla was also clearly evident over a mild roast flavor.
The melt was just a bit better than smooth and into the more smooth category. The flavor after the chocolate was gone lasted 30 to 35 seconds, giving it a medium length. The finish was slightly acidic and slightly sour.
Overall, other than being a bit too sweet for my palate, this chocolate was great in nearly every way. I was so impressed that, after taking my initial tasting notes, I followed up with a comparative tasting against our two top-ranked Madagascar chocolates (Rogue Sambirano and Patric Madagascar 75%), and Amano Madagascar came out best! It just missed making it onto my list of 10 favorite chocolate bars, and is currently ranked 11. Madagascar won a Gold award in 2009 from the Academy of Chocolate, and it was clearly well-deserved.
Madagascar is not currently available directly from Amano, but you can purchase it online for $6.95 from New Leaf or for $6.99 from Chocolopolis or World Wide Chocolate.