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In some of my recent reviews you may noticed me mentioning that I have been buying an increasing number of chocolates from the UK supermarket retailer Waitrose. Indeed if you are one of my UK readers I would strongly suggest you take a visit to you local store to check out their chocolate shelves. I'm not saying it is going to be a cheap visit, but I'm in little doubt that a lot of you will be surprised at just how wide their range is. On one of my recent recent Waitrose visits I picked up this little known offering made by The Grenada Chocolate Company. This bar came billed as a 71% cocoa organic dark chocolate bar, made from 'organic cocoa farms nestles in the lush Carribean rain forest'. When I review chocolates like this, it really blows my mind how the ingredients make their way from rain forests on one side of the world, to being in my hands here in the UK.
This bar came in a 85.0g tablet and set me back the reasonably priced sum of £2.99. One of the things that immediately struck me about this product was the packaging. I have never been to the Caribbean, but from what I understand it is a colourful, vibrant place, which is something the wrapper communicated expertly. Sat on the shelf the bar really stood out - believe me it would have to considering the hundreds that Waitrose stock. Inside the chocolate was wrapped in a thick layer of bronze foil and looked beautifully fresh with a crisp, clean looking surface and it's deep black colour. When it came to aromas, the chocolate fully justified it's fresh looking aesthetics and it emanated some fragrant, roasted cocoa smells which gave me great expectations of the taste to follow.
Breaking the chocolate in to smaller chunks it broke with a lovely sounding snap which further gave evidence that this was a delightfully fresh chocolate. Of course looking, smelling and sounding fresh wasn't going to mean anything if it didn't taste fresh and flavoursome, and I have the pleasure of reporting that it very much did. From the very first seconds of the chocolate being in the mouth the cocoa flavours came to the party and quickly established a strong set of sugar and milk flavours. As the smooth melt slowly gathered paced, these brown sugar notes caramelised into a smokier influence, which had minor hints of wood and red fruits . As the solid mass entered it's final melting stage, transforming into a liquid state, a final plethora of chocolate and coffee elements came to the fore. This final twist in the aftertaste was a fitting end to each blocks, and left a great impression on my palette for a long time after consumption. This was definitely one of those chocolates best enjoyed in small amounts alongside an after dinner coffee. It wasn't suitable for eating in any great quantity, as it was exceedingly rich.
Overall this was one of the best plain dark chocolate bars I have tasted for a long time and is well worthy of it's 9.0 out 10 rating. Pretty much everything about this bar was superb: the packaging looked great, it smelt wonderful, it broke with crispness and of course mostly importantly it was exceedingly tasty. My tasting notes above may read like I am trying to sound an expert (which I don't think I am!!), but that was truly the only way I could describe the taste. I hope my rambling has been able to communicate that the flavours on offer were rich, smooth flowing, progressive and never in any sense bitter - it was almost the perfect dark chocolate. Compared to my all time favourite Hotel Chocolat 85%, I would rate this chocolate in the same league, though I wouldn't say the finish or the textures were quite as creamy, so my preference still falls with the latter. If you are going to be taking my advice and are going to go for a shop in Waitrose soon, I strongly suggest you keep an eye out for this dark chocolate - to be honest it's going to be hard to miss it on the shelf.
9.0 out of 10