Richard's Rating: 8.5
The cacao beans for this chocolate came from the Chuao region of Venezuela, renown for its extraordinary cacao. The other ingredients were cane sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla. Total cocoa solids made up 70% of the chocolate.
The 50 gram bar came sealed inside foil-lined yellow paper and packaged in a textured paper envelope. The bar was scored into ten pieces, each with an imprint of the Amedei name and parallel lines. Unfortunately, the bar arrived broken (as you can see in the picture above). A best before date of 28 February 2012 was stamped on the envelope, indicating the chocolate was months past its prime.
Amedei Chuao had a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. The surface of the bar was smooth, with some adhered bits of chocolate. The sheen was uneven. The bar had a hard snap.
The earthy aroma contained scents of fruit that smelled close to raisin, roast in the form of cocoa, and molasses sweetness.
The chocolate tasted of roast, sweetness, earth, and fruit. The roast included both cocoa and coffee flavors. The sweetness seemed to be a mix of both honey and molasses. I tasted several fruit flavors: berry, cherry, blueberry, and plum.
The melt was smooth, bordering on more smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted 35 to 40 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a medium length. The finish included a lingering coffee flavor, along with bitterness, acidity, and tannin.
While still an excellent chocolate, this incarnation no longer retains its top spot on my favorites list. Some of that decline from near perfection might be attributed to the age of this particular bar, but not the disappointing aftertaste.
UPDATE: As of 16 April 2013, the best price I found for purchase online in the U.S. was $14.50 from three places: Caputo's, Chocosphere, and World Wide Chocolate. The best price I found for purchase online in the U.K. was £5.69 from Chocolate Trading Co.