When Dean-German-Grocery send across a box full of samples they generally ask what products I am interested in and send them along. From time to time though they like to mix things up and they often include some products that I have never even heard of before. Take todays bar for instance - Hachez Cocoa D'Arriba - this was a 77% cocoa dark chocolate bar. Supposedly the Hachez brand has been around since 1890 ... I had never come across it before!
The bar came in a standard 100.0g size that I consumed over a number of different sittings. The outer packaging gave the bar a very classy look and I was very impressed with the sleekness of its aesthetic features. As well as the packaging looking classy the chocolate didn't disappoint either. Each block was branded with the Hachez logo and had a very clean cut looking surface with little signs of wear and tear. With the bar being contained in a foil wrapper the fresh smell of the chocolate didn't go unnoticed - it had scent rich with cocoa and hints of coffee beans.
Up until this point I was impressed with the product and my mind changed little having tasted. The taste was relatively mild to begin with though as the chocolate warmed and started to melt a nice surge of flavours were released. To begin with the taste had very mild milk based flavours though the cocoa flavours soon came to the party flexing the strength of the 77% recipe. The cocoa flavours were strong but never bitter and were nicely rounded by the vanilla note in the aftertaste. In relation to bars like the almighty Hotel Chocolat 85% this chocolate had neither the depth of variety in its flavours or the same thick yet smooth melt. That is of course a rather harsh comparison considering it is my favourite chocolate ever. All in all the bar still provided a rich tasting experience and one that certainly delivered in terms of that all important 'chocolate hit'.
Overall this was a good yet perhaps an unspectacular first look at the Hachez range. Solus dark chocolate bars are always going to have a hard time considering the high standards that previous bars from Lindt and Hotel Chocolat have already set. Although I wouldn't rate this bar in the same league as the previously mentioned manufactures this is hardly a product that you could do wrong buying. This was by no means my favourite dark chocolate bar ever but it gave me a reasonable amount of enjoyment and I would possibly consider having it again.
8.1 out of 10