October 10th: Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa

Kcal 210 Fat 18.0g Fat(sats) 11.0g Carbs 8.0g (per 40.0g)

Lindt are a brand that very rarely disappoint ... as of typing I'm struggling to think of a product of theirs' that I haven't enjoyed - anyone!? Well anyway, when Dean-German-Grocery sent me this 85% cocoa bar I will admit I was expecting quite a lot ... especially since the equivalent 85% formulation of Hotel Chocolat currently leads the Chocolate Mission leaderboard ... could this Lindt offering match up?? There was only one way to find out.

Lindt are a brand that never leave presentation as an afterthought, and this bar was no different. The look certainly justified the 'Excellence' branding. From the smart cardboard sleeve, silver branded foil and the spotless surface of the chocolate itself - it all looked fantastic, top notch presentation. The smell was also relatively good, this was not a product that radiated a huge aroma as soon as the packaging was opened, but when searched for, a rich cocoa scent all but spelt out the depth of the flavour.

You would come to expect from such a strongly concentrated cocoa bar that the taste would need getting used to, and that it would take some time for the taste buds to adapt ... this was all but unnecessary. From the first to the last block I did not detect any element of bitterness in the taste, a pretty stark comparison to the extremely harsh 100% bar from Hotel Chocolat I tried the other day. The chocolate had a divine melt on the tongue; as I referred to in the presentation of the product, the surface was spotless and smooth - this followed through with the texture of the bar. The melt was fantastically paced, allowing full expression of the highly developed flavours. The strength of the cocoa was forceful but had a balanced milkiness that meant it never became overly intense. The taste was long and smooth, and had notes of dark coloured fruits and hazelnuts in its long aftertaste. This was a beautifully textured, rich tasting bar of chocolate - superb.

Overall this was one of those chocolates that was an absolute joy to eat from beginning to finish. Despite it's strong flavours the taste was welcoming and never once overbearing. Although a completely different bar of chocolate by it's own merits - compared to the Hotel Chocolat 85% the thickness of melt meant that texturewise this bar scored slightly lower; consider the difference in price though, and this slight discrepancy can very much be taken in jest. I cannot stress enough what a fantastic bar of chocolate this is, if you enjoy strong flavoured chocolate then this is a bar I cannot recommend enough.

9.0 out of 10