Product Type: Lindt Chocolate Chocolate
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Only 70% Excellent
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
Member Name: TheChocolateLady
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
Advantages: Good complexity to the flavours, easy to find and not expensive
Disadvantages: Slightly grainy, dry and with an unfortunate aftertaste
Look and Scent - When you first open this bar up, you may notice that the dark brown colour here is slightly on the red side. You may also notice that it has a partially shiny surface to it, but not glossy looking. These are both very good signs in a dark chocolate. What you'll also notice when you first open this is the scent here, which in addition to the obvious cocoa scent also has a hint of cinnamon to it, and just a touch of something that is almost like anise mixed with honey. This whole combination is very pleasant, slightly spicy scent on the whole.
Sound and Breakage - When you break this bar you'll notice the sound it makes is that of a slightly hollow cracking noise. When you do this, you may also notice that the bar cracks very solidly, but leaving some crumbs. This means that the bar has been fairly well conched, which is the process of mixing the cocoa mass to distribute the cocoa butter as evenly as possible. The more crumbs, the less well conched a bar is, and it seems here that it could have done with a touch more of this process.
Mouth Feel - What you look for in a dark chocolate is something smooth and velvety, which gives easily to your biting into it. Unfortunately, this is another place where we find a slight drawback of this bar. When you bite it, it will feel a bit hard and a tiny bit on the dry side. This is probably because it hasn't been completely conched to perfection, and that also gives this a slightly grainy mouth feel. This means that when you eat it, you will feel as if there are granules left in your mouth. This also has a slight chewiness to it that is not all that unpleasant, but it does seem a touch tough in your mouth instead of giving you the feeling it would melt there, which would have been preferable. In other words, when you first put this on your tongue you'll feel the urge to chew it instead of letting it melt in your mouth. One would expect this more from a bar with a higher percentage of cocoa solids, which is a letdown for me personally.
Taste - This is, of course, the ultimate test. I find that the flavours here are mostly good but just a tad monotone. First of all, the cocoa here which is fairly strong with just a hint of woody taste to it coupled with a touch of strawberry when you first put this in your mouth. After eating for a moment or two, you might detect a slightly sweet spicy flavour here that is akin to honey. One reviewer I read noticed a grassy taste here which is only slightly detectable to me, which gives this a clean taste that is actually very nice. Unfortunately, the aftertaste here is on the sour side and you aren't left with a nice strong chocolate flavour in your mouth when you swallow. This could be because they use vanillin which is a synthetic version of vanilla, which masks the bean's taste. This is also far sweeter than most high cocoa mass chocolates due to their using more sugar than they could have gotten away with and you'll be missing what I often prefer in an aftertaste, which is the flavour of coffee.
Conclusion - Lindt's 70% Excellence is a good, basic dark chocolate that has been mass produced and has some good qualities to it. It has an average mouth feel which is only slightly grainy but not quite melty enough and is slightly hard and dry. It smells and looks very nice but could be glossier, if they had conched it just a tad more. There are some good complex flavours to the overall taste but using vanillin lets this bar down in the end with an unfortunate aftertaste. For those wishing to become chocolate gourmets, this is a good bar to start with and because it is mass produced, it is both easily available and reasonably priced. In all, I'd give this a rating of about 7 out of 10, but for the purpose of this review, give it four out of five stars.
Davida Chazan © November 2010
The website for this bar can be found at http://www.lindt.com/uk/swf/eng/products/excellenc e/excellence-70/ and one shop I found online sells this for £2.25 per bar, but I'm sure you can find this for less in regular shops.
Summary: Lindt's 70% Excellence Dark Cocoa Chocolate Bar is one of the better mass produced dark bars.
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