It's over three and a half years since I last tried this Madagascan 65% chocolate from Michel Cluizel. Back then I was rather fond of it, but I thought it'd be interesting to see how it fairs given my tastes have firmly moved towards the darker side. Of course the recipe is still the same although I don't know if the production protocol (roasting time, temperature and conching time, etc.) have changed.
From recollection the quality of the execution is still as refined. The team at Cluizel most definitely know what they're doing. If you like chocolate that just doesn't vary from bar to bar the Cluizel should be one of a few you should look at. We have many chocolate fans that buy from us that love the more rustic and perhaps adventurous chocolate from Bouga Cacao, Finca and others. But buy the same token you are rarely going to be disappointed with this maker.
Apart from the excellent texture which allows the chocolate to turn to a liquid almost instantly in the mouth, the flavours are definitively blackcurrant jam with an undercurrent of mango and the odd splash of grapefruit. The acidity comes across as more fructose than any form of harsh simple acids. There's no tobacco, wood or even balsamic. It's a summer fruit cocktail and that's as far as it goes.
It's a pleasant chocolate but not at all adventurous. It does take you anywhere where you aren't likely to have been before. To me, that's a shame. For others, who just like to sit back and consume some sweet dark chocolate, then you'll be satisfied.
The point is that the cacao comes from a region of Madagascar where some absolutely stunning chocolate is created such as Amedei, Rózsavölgyi, Domori, Menakao, The Chocolate Tree and Patric and this one falls short of those heights.