Box Chocolate Review

Antoine Amrani

Info Details
Country USA   (Philadelphia, PA)
Style Mainstream      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
A pure business play (RE: $$$; lots of backing) suspiciously close to the sound of a chocolate ‘Armani’... show more »
Presentation   5 / 5
got ‘the look’, the look of money; extraordinary detail to the box, the tags, the color wheel, the luster-dusted & silk-screened jewel-set nestled in this display-tray regalia w/ well-sealed finishes
Aromas   2.3 / 5
coldly entombed; even a close-in sniffle yields up only a lone nut (solitary pistachio)
Textures/Melt   6.8 / 10
Shells: uneven; medium gauges fail to make much of an impression; the heavier armors are thicker than ridiculous
Centers: rather firm-bodied though some softened ones too
Flavor   33.6 / 50
accessible in overly-confected formulations, not so much forward (nor backwards despite employing an organic couverture that harkens back to old days when ‘organic’ meant ‘flat droning flavor’) but sideways, as tastes splay in aimless directions w/ only minor effervescence & then only as supplied by sugar (the aforementioned ‘technique’?) delivering generally low amplitude to generate a sullen & glum feeling
Quality   20.9 / 30
Devious; carefully calibrated to sway the masses in a cerebral & soulless gambit that comes off as apprenticeship.
Selections
Couverture: organic Cacao Barry
Pure Dark - 70%; balanced cocoa / cream ratio; minor bitter-bites caressed in dairy-fat w/ a thin trail of stringent smoke at the back; a bit unremarkable if straightforward w/ few nuances as to be expected for this classic
Raspberry - violet luster-coated shell; sweet, barely-tart, berry-concentrate nearing gummy-bear strength w/ virtually no chocolate backup; fine flavor, such as it is
Earl Grey - confused; Dark cherry-inflected stemwinder but at the front burner, holds poise throughout despite flirting w/ syrup, oddly revealing modest cream, even less tea, & almost no bergamot; intriguing all the same
Almond Crisp - thick praline of almond butter cut by rice crisp folded into Milk Choc for micro-crunch ‘n pop; runs sweet on the sugar & shy on the chocolate; overly confected
Pistachio - foretold in the Aroma but, strangely, precious little of it on the tongue; Dark on White Choc cream ganache; heavy dessert fare dripping in maple sap effects & chocolate blanks until the shell melts thru for a coffee-grinder of a flavor; bizarre & banal
Duo Café - gel-center inside hard thick shell; tremendously robusto, a really fresh cup of cold joe that just annihilates any remnants of cacáo (if there even were any); completely off-kilter / out-of-balance & clear sign of missing the mark; needs a do-over
Orange Grand Marnier - a lot of moving parts: nice initial hit – fresh orange zest, then liquor kicks it, add cardamom + one of the few pieces in the collection w/ true chocolate presence to unite the elements toward... a liqueur-soaked wafer sensation; all cylinders firing; a real force
Banana Rum - heavy-handed cinnamon adds a graham cracker element to this banana cream-pie filler; a tad dipsy-doodle, not enough dandy

Reviewed November 2009
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