November 23rd: Cote d'Or Sensations Brut 86% Cacao

Kcal 605 Fat 54.5g Fat(sats) 33.5g Carbs 19.0g (per 100.0g)

This is my first review of a Cote D'Or product, and what better place to start than the brands most appropriate comparator bar to Chocolate Mission's top rated Hotel Chocolat 85% Dark Chocolate ... easy start huh!? I know very little about Cote D'Or apart from that the brand is from Belguim and has a rich heritage that stretches as far back as 1883. I have seen a few of their bars in and around the UK, but Dean-German-Gorcery provided me with the bar for todays review.

I was instantly impressed with the presentation of the product. It came packaged in a nice cardboard box, that had a stylish, elegant design - it certainly gave the impression of a premium chocolate brand. The bar itself looked nice, the Cote d'Or elephant logo was cleanly crafted into the surface, which I may also add had a very clean cut, smooth looking appearance. The smell of the bar reminded me very much of Lindt chocolate. The cocoa scent was very prevalent and forthcoming as soon as I opened the foil wrapping. All signs up until here were good ... but of course the truth is in the taste.

One thing I did notice on the back of the cardboard box was the fact this bar contained over 600 calories and a near 55.0g of fat per 100.0g. I am sure I have probably consumed bars with similar levels, though this struck me as bloody high. I ate this the only way it deserved to be, served at room temperature, letting each block melt slowly on my tongue. The rate of the melt was ok, it took a while for the chocolate to get to melting temperature, though it did have a nice smoothness. Despite having a nice soft feel in the mouth, the chocolate once melted felt ridiculously thin in its melted state. Not only was the chocolate thin, it was near totally devoid of strong flavours .. how can this be from a 86% cocoa mass bar you ask!?? I am still asking myself that very question. Only when the bar was in its furthest stage of melt did it offer any (and i mean any!!!) sort of worthwhile taste. Even then the cocoa flavours were not even that forthcoming - they were just completely underwhelming. The aftertaste was very short lived, with the flavours all but disappearing within seconds of consumption. To make sure my taste buds were not deceiving me I ate 50.0g in one sitting, and then came back to the rest later in the day - at which point I took one square, had exactly the same flavourless experience and just didn't bother with the rest.

Overall this bar absolutely flummoxed me, I don't have a clue how Cote d'Or have managed to create a flavourless chocolate bar containing 86% cocoa, but my does it appear they have tried their best. The bar had many of the attributes of a premium chocolate offering, it had the look, smell ... even the texture to an extent. However, it just seemed completely devoid of meaningful flavour. Sure the cocoa flavours were evident, but this was only at the last stage of the melt, and even then the taste was neither strong or long lasting. To be honest I would leave this bar well alone, save your pennies for Hotel Chocolat or Lindt.

6.9 out of 10