Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Valrhona Le Noir Amer 71%

Richard's Rating: 5.5
chocolate makerValrhona
barLe Noir Amer
cacao treesTrinitario,
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids71%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
flavoringvanilla extract
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, imprint, lines, scoring, scuffing
aromaroast (coffee, cocoa), earth, vanilla, fruit, hint of nut
tasteroast (cocoa, coffee), earth, sweet, fruit (hint of orange)
Valrhona makes several premium single origin and blend chocolate bars that we've reviewed over the past couple of years. They also make quality blend chocolate bars that are priced much lower. Two of these are Le Noir Amer and Le Noir Extra Amer, the former of which I'm posting about today.

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.

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