Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Valrhona Le Noir Extra Amer 85%

Richard's Rating: 5.0
chocolate makerValrhona
barLe Noir Extra Amer
cacao trees(unknown)
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids85%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
flavoringvanilla extract
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A
colormedium-dark brown
texturesmooth, imprint, lines, scoring, scuffing
aromaroast, earth, vanilla, nut, spice, fruit
tasteearth, roast (tobacco, coffee), bitter, fruit (citrus)
finishbitter, somewhat tannin
Le Noir Extra Amer is one of Valrhona's lower priced quality chocolate bars. It contains a blend of cacao, like that of Le Noir Amer we reviewed earlier, but has higher cacao content.

Le Noir Extra Amer contained 85% cocoa solids (beans plus added cocoa butter) and was made with cacao beans from Africa. The ingredients of this chocolate were cacao beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and vanilla extract.

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 11138 and the best before date was October 2012.

The color of the chocolate was a medium dark brown that was nearly dark brown and noticeably darker than Le Noir Amer. The bar looked good: the surface was smooth, with some minimal scuffing. The bar had a hard snap.

The chocolate had a roast and earthy aroma, with additional scents of vanilla, nut, spice, and fruit.

It tasted of earth and roast as well, with the roast consisting of both tobacco and coffee flavors. Bitterness was clearly present, along with a fruit flavor that included some citrus.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor after the chocolate was gone lasted about 15 to 20 seconds, giving it a short length. The final aftertaste was bitter and somewhat tannin.

There is no list price for this chocolate, but I purchased Valrhona Le Noir Extra Amer at Trader Joe's for $2.99. As you can see on our Best Chocolate Values page, $0.85 per ounce is a bargain for this 85% chocolate bar.

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