Vestri Hacienda Vista Alegre 71% Dark Chocolate Bar
As soon as you open the foil on this bar you know you have opened a bar of luxury chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous notes of floral chocolate rise up to greet your nose and you are treated to a scent rich and dark that literally sings of quality. The chocolate itself has been poured into a single square and quite frankly if I was given “a square” of this chocolate I’d be in heaven.
The vanilla is present on a closer examination of the scent as you inhale you can taste it but after putting it into your mouth you get a tobacco flavour that is typical Dominican Republic followed by dry red fruits. The flavour develops and the red fruits overwhelm the tobacco so that it is just a hint in the background with the delicious juicy cherries and raspberries dance across the middle.
The conch has been just right to preserve the fruitness of this bar and it has been well refined, meaning it is not too gritty as it melts in your mouth. The chocolate, despite being 71% is not bitter and the sugar has been balanced well. I really do believe this chocolate does not need vanilla and it spoils the flavour for me. That and the soya lecithin could easily be left out and not just because I am allergic. I think that Vestri could take a leaf out of Soma’s book and go natural. Take the chance and produce a beautiful single origin bar without the additives and let that ruby red fruit shine through, supported by the slight tobacco flavour. Without the vanilla trying to overtake the natural flavour of the chocolate it would be even more joyously beautiful.
I am being tough on this chocolate because it is among the best in the world. I truly believe the vanilla has ruined this chocolate slightly because it becomes one of the dominant flavours in the chocolate. Regardless, this is a stunning example of chocolate and one well worth the investment.