Richard's Rating: 5.5
According to the wrapper, Le Noir Amer was made from a blend of Trinitario and Criollo cacao beans. The ingredients were cacao beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and vanilla extract. The chocolate contained 71% cocoa solids (the beans plus added cocoa butter).
The large 100 gram bar was scored into eight big pieces, each imprinted with diagonal parallel lines. There was also a Valrhona imprint shared among four of the pieces. The bar came wrapped in brass-colored foil inside a paper wrapper. The lot number of the chocolate reviewed here was 11073 and the best before date was August 2012.
The chocolate had a color slightly redder than a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface was smooth, with just a little scuffing. The bar had a hard snap.
Le Noir Amer gave off a roast and earthy aroma, with scents of coffee, cocoa, vanilla, fruit, and a hint of nut.
The taste was similarly full of roast and earthy, and the roast had cocoa and coffee flavors. It tasted sweet, with a fruit flavor that I struggled to identify. The fruit seemed to include a non-citrus orange.
The chocolate had a smooth melt. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting about 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was tannin.
Although there isn't a list price for this chocolate, I purchased Valrhona Le Noir Amer at Trader Joe's for $2.99. As you can see on our Best Chocolate Values page, it's one of the better bars for under $1.25 per ounce.