Box Chocolate Review

L'Olivier

Info Details
Country France   (Toulouse)
Style Rustic      (charm)
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
No rock stars or ‘wow’ factors in this box; just solidly consistent performances linking up the tricks.
Presentation   4 / 5
simple square molds & enrobes, some w/ kitsch silkscreen; variable sheen, ditto Fit ‘n Finish
Aromas   3.6 / 5
recessed; pastry jelly
Textures/Melt   8.7 / 10
Shells: on the thick side, especially for a French company
Centers: ranges from satin sheets to micro-crunch all w/ good weight
Flavor   42.9 / 50
French-forward... on the edge of excess & collapse but almost uniformly pulls back from the brink by a couverture w/ just enough stamina; pastry butter in the undertow
Quality   26.3 / 30
Other than borderline dried-out flavors (probably nearing the end of shelf-life), an accomplished culinary set from a maker with good skills in its back pocket
Selections
Couverture: Valrhona?
Troubador - nougat going nowhere, just sugared egg whites until nuts chew their way thru & meld w/ back cocoa in a moment of saving grace
Feuilletine Noir - tremendous micro crystal-crunch... wafers & hazelnuts clomp as the teeth chomp
Feuilletine Lait - same as its Noir relative but more flavor expressed thru greater salt working against Milk Choc
Edelweiss - Dark-on-Milk besotted in Grand Marnier distilling orange all over it; barely enough tannic structure for support though it does hold its frame
L’Olivier - sinister citrus (orange, Cointreau, & hot ginger) merges w/ licorice-inflected couverture for a chocolate molasses from the Dark Side of Paradise; best complex of the set
Clé de Sol - Milk-on-Dark; pronounced on all fronts... from the initial chocolate blast to Pear Liqueur springing more heat than the sun; then once again, key to L’Olivier’s overall approach, the elements settle back into confluence, mediated softly by milk fat, concentrating the pear essence
Violet a violet crush of Provence crosscut by salted caramel; a little too much powder-room perfume that takes chocolate a while to get into; once it does, it hangs & bangs
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