August 19th: Galler Heritage Noir 85%

Kcal 559 Fat 50.1g Carbs 16.3g (per 100.0g)

Having got through a fair number of Galler's filled chocolate bars recently I was delighted when I was presented with the opportunity to try their Heritage Noir 85% dark chocolate bar. Those in the know will be well aware that 85% recipe chocolates have a pretty good track record here on ChocolateMission. I don't know whether it is by luck and chance, but bars of this strength from the likes of Lindt, Green & Black's etc have been some of my favourite chocolates of all time. In fact, if you look at the ChocolateMission leaderboard you will see that Hotel Chocolat's 85% House Dark Chocolate still remains right at the top (I very much recommend you try it if you haven't done so already!). Today was all about this Galler Heritage Noir 85% though, and it came described as a very unfussy sounding 'dark chocolate with 85% cocoa'.

This bar came in a 100.0g size that I willingly shared with some fellow taste testers. What can I say about the presentation? My previous reviews on Galler's filled bar range have been filled with nothing but superlatives when it comes to their packaging, but this bar really did look a cut above the rest. The outer wrapper was simplistic, yet totally premium looking in design, but it was the bar itself where this chocolate really shone. When I say shone, I really do mean it shone - the surface of the chocolate had the cleanest looking surface of any chocolate I have seen before. It gave the sense that the chocolate was fresh out the hands of the chocolatier who crafted it, whilst the perfect sized blocks and crystal clear Galler logo just further reaffirmed th sense this was a high end offering.

When I had finally finished marvelling over the gorgeous look of the bar, the next task myself and taste testers embarked upon was taking in the smells offered by the chocolate. All five of us remarked that the strong cocoa scents were appealing in their fresh, fragrant scents, though some (who got really into it :D ) went further by describing they could detect hints of roasted coffee and charcoal (oooh err!) haha! Smelling the chocolate was fine and necessary and everything, but this was really going to come down to the all important taste test. As mentioned above the chocolate blocks were a perfect mouth size, with one piece at a time the optimum size for just popping on the tongue. Doing exactly this allowed for the flavour development to be at it's best - this was a strictly no chew necessary chocolate. Placing a block on the tongue the chocolate quickly established a strong tasting set of cocoa flavours that came across as sharp and edgy to the majority of us. As the chocolate gathered heat and transcended in form, these cocoa flavours became more rounded, and developed flavour notes of vanilla, brown sugar and milk which somewhat took the edge off the taste. During the latter stages of the melt it was mentioned be a few of my taste testers (and myself!) that the taste developed undercurrents of burnt sugar and caramel. The aftertaste left in the mouth was pleasant, but not perhaps as long lasting as other chocolates I have tried of this strength.

Overall I personally felt this was a very accomplished and tasty dark chocolate which was a common consensus amongst all the people that I sampled it with. I think it was best summed up by one of colleagues as 'proper chocolate' - this it certainly was. The flavour development was absolutely first class and I loved the way it started out with a strong, almost startling chocolatey flavour hit before it developed in to a calmer, creamier kind taste. If I was to compare it to the Hotel Chocolat 85% I would say it was definitely in the same ball park in terms of my enjoyment of it, but the thinner nature of the Galler bars melt gave it slightly less longevity and presence than it's Hotel Chocolat counterpart. This is just my own personal opinion, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are many out there who might just happen to prefer this Galler offering. The wonderful thing about dark chocolate is that is shares many similarities to fine wines. Everyone has their own tastes that are matched by different brands, but like wines, anyone who has any idea about chocolate will be able to tell this is a high quality bar. I know I keep saying this about most Galler products I try, but I can only tell the truth - I really recommend this.

8.9 out of 10