This bar has been asking to be reviewed ever since I bought it home.
Why do I say that? Well, mainly because it has such a powerful smell that I have been made aware of it every time I open the Chocovault.
Regular Chocablog fans will probably know me as ‘the bloke who travels a lot and finds weird things to review’. Well, this bar fits that bill perfectly. You probably know Absinthe as that evil green/blue alcohol that used to send people insane and which you tend to avoid if you have any common sense at all. It’s a ferociously strong spirit with a bitter taste (so bitter that the usual method of consumption involves adding a large amount of sugar) and for that reason I was fascinated to see just how Venchi were going to pull off an absinthe chocolate blend.
The chocolate used here is a 75% dark ‘extra bitter’, so I was beginning to wonder just how much of a screwface I was going to pull. Opening the wrapper and revealing the surface of the chocolate released yet more pungent anise aroma which wiped out any hint of cocoa from the bar. One thing was certain – this was going to be a unique taste experience!
The bar breaks into very small squares. It’s only 45g anyway, but each horizontal line divides into three, so the actual ‘dose’ is pretty small, and this is probably a good thing. The first square was all about the Absinthe. Tart, aniseed notes overpowered any of the delicate chocolate flavours that may have been there, leaving only the texture of smooth dark chocolate for my tongue to work with. The finish is also alcoholic in nature. It’s more like eating an aniseed ball than a bar of good quality, high cocoa content chocolate. A second square merely reinforced the idea that there was no way I was ever going to be able to discern the more subtle aspects of the chocolate. All that happened was that I ended up with more of the powerful aniseed aftertaste obliterating my palate and forcing me to call a halt to any further tasting exercises for a while.
So there you go – proof that you can’t just throw any old flavours into a bar of chocolate and get away with it. There are some things in this world that are never going to be a good match for the cocoa bean, and if you ask me, Absinthe is one of them.