Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Amano Madagascar

Richard's Rating: 9.0
chocolate makerAmano
cacao trees(unknown)
size56g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$6.95
colormedium-light brown
PANTONE 19-1431
texturesmooth with text imprints, scoring
aromaroast (tobacco, cocoa), fruit (berry), spice (vanilla, hint of cinnamon)
snapmedium hard
tastesweet, fruit (citrus, orange, lime, berry, strawberry, raspberry), vanilla, roast
meltmore smooth
finishslightly acidic, slightly sour
U.S. chocolate maker Amano makes eight single origin dark chocolate bars, one of which is Madagascar. The cacao beans for this chocolate came from the renown Sambirano Valley of Madagascar.

The ingredients of Madagascar were the same as Art Pollard's other chocolates: cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter made from the same cacao beans, and vanilla beans. He also used the same ratio of 70% cocoa solids.

The two ounce bar was scored into 15 pieces, each with an imprint of the company name and emblem. It came wrapped in gold-sided foil and packaged inside a glossy paper box. A sticker on the back of the box identified lot number 3/4/90E and a best before date of October 2013.

Madagascar had a medium-light brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431) color. The surface was smooth, with some barely noticeable scuffing. The snap was medium hard.

The aroma contained scents of tobacco and cocoa roast, along with a berry fruit, and a strong vanilla. I also smelled a hint of cinnamon..

I initially tasted sweetness, and then the chocolate revealed a lovely combination of fruit flavors: citrus that was more orange than lime along with berry that was a combination of strawberry and raspberry. Vanilla was also clearly evident over a mild roast flavor.

The melt was just a bit better than smooth and into the more smooth category. The flavor after the chocolate was gone lasted 30 to 35 seconds, giving it a medium length. The finish was slightly acidic and slightly sour.

Overall, other than being a bit too sweet for my palate, this chocolate was great in nearly every way. I was so impressed that, after taking my initial tasting notes, I followed up with a comparative tasting against our two top-ranked Madagascar chocolates (Rogue Sambirano and Patric Madagascar 75%), and Amano Madagascar came out best! It just missed making it onto my list of 10 favorite chocolate bars, and is currently ranked 11. Madagascar won a Gold award in 2009 from the Academy of Chocolate, and it was clearly well-deserved.

Madagascar is not currently available directly from Amano, but you can purchase it online for $6.95 from New Leaf or for $6.99 from Chocolopolis or World Wide Chocolate.

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