Richard's Rating: 8.0
Cocoa solids made up 64% of El Pedregal, including added cocoa butter. The sweetener for this chocolate was a surprising brown sugar. Soy lecithin was added as an emulsifier. There was also a small amount of vanilla.
The 70 gram bar reviewed here was produced on July 9, 2013, with a best before date of December 2014.
Valrhona scored the bar into 20 uneven pieces. The bar had imprints of the Valrhona logo and name. The surface of the chocolate was impressive, with only minuscule bubbles in some corners.
The chocolate had a medium brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431) color. The bar had a medium hard snap.
El Pedregal gave off a spicy roast aroma. Scents included pepper, nut, coffee, cocoa, raisin, and vanilla.
Beginning with a cocoa roast, the taste revealed that peppery spice and some clove. Other flavors included a berry fruit, almond nuttiness, and a molasses sweetness. I also tasted vanilla and a little acidity.
The melt was smooth. The length was long, with the chocolate flavor lasting 40 to 45 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was tannin and somewhat acidic.
Overall, while not as marvelous as some other Porcelana chocolates and sweeter than I'd prefer, I found El Pedregal to be excellent, certainly among the best chocolates with this much sugar.
You can purchase El Pedregal online for $9.99 directly from Valrhona, for $8.95 from World Wide Chocolate, and for $8.99 from Caputo's.