I've never reviewed dark chocolate with such a pronounced cherry Bakewell Tart character than this bar. Previously I've had a love, almost hate relationship with bars from Cuba, so I was curious to see how this one compared to the previous. If you're interested in the provenance of your chocolate, then you may like to know that this one comes from the mountainous ranges of the Sierra Cristal in the south-east of the Island. Further up these mountains the plant life is dominated by pine forests, but below there is more and more cacao being grown. After the Cuban revolution the two cacao factories were put into state control, although, wisely in 1963 Castro decided to build a new plant in the town of Baracoa - and this is where the beans used to make this bar would have generally been headed - if it weren't for Pierre Marcolini getting his mitts on them and turning them into a very attractive and fairly robust bar of dark chocolate.
You can find this chocolate in Marcolini's characteristic grey carré box form with a level of detail on the front that may scare or induce curiosity in people as they explore the text. The good thing, however, is that it may cause people to research more about the origins of the cacao further.
Aromatically there is a mixture of notes, but the most prominent is that of the salty liquid at the bottom of a roasting pan after a gorgeous hunk of beef has been slow cooking in the oven. It's as if you're pouring it into a gravy jug and mixing a bit of flour in. But just behind that there's an almost red grapefruit edge that just gives it a bit more piquancy.
The colour appears almost perfect - a lovely, dark, rich tone that indicates the nature of the flavour contained within. As you snap a piece off you'll not only notice the crisp sound but the odd, minute bubble - a slight blemish, but nothing at all worth criticising - certainly not as the mouthfeel is just plain fantastic. It just melts with ease in the mouth. After it has melted, there was a strange sensation at the top of my mouth which may be related to the acidity?
As indicated at the beginning, there is a very noticeable cherry flavour, but along with that you'll find a touch of almond and a very prominent acidity akin to cedar wood. There's no significant waxing or waning of flavours as many other fine bars offer - just a continual stream of cherry with that sharp acidity beneath. It may not be as beautifully rounded as the Chapon Cuba, but it is still a very special bar of dark chocolate!