Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Amano Dos Rios 70% Chocolate

Amano Dos Rios 70%Back in October the Chocolate Salon came to town, it’s a one day show devoted solely to chocolate and open to the public. It was quite small compared to some chocolate shows held around the world, but one of the best parts was visiting with Art Pollard, his team and Amano Chocolate. They make superb bars with specially selected beans. I’ve been fond of all of their bars, with the Ocumare still topping my list for plain dark chocolate.

I bought some of the other new bars that I haven’t been able to find in stores (Montanya & Jembrana Milk Chocolate) but I also got a preview at the time of the not-yet-released Amano Dos Rios 70%. The beans are from the Dominican Republic and you can read far more about the origin of this bar at Seventy Percent in this article by Martin Christy.

What I’ve found over the years with Amano chocolate and many other small batch brands is that the chocolate changes as it ages, just like cheese and wine. So I ate half of my bar pretty much right away, then wrapped it up tight and put it back in the wine fridge for a couple of months to see what would happen. It is quite startling to see what a difference that makes, but happily both tastings were very nice.

Amano Dos Rios 70%

Initial Tasting: Woodsy scent, moss, green sticks and olives. Strong Earl Grey tea flavors, not just the bergamot but also the black tea leaves. Quite acidic and dry yet a smooth and creamy melt overall. Lingering notes of bergamot and a return of the olives and some peppery floral whiffs of carnations.

Later Tasting: The scent is of green olives and lilacs, a little soapy. Strange and compelling - very green, fresh and grassy with a strong astringent quality. As it melts the flavors continue to release including more olives and some black tea/mushroom/cherry notes and mid-tone burnt note like coffee left on the burner a little too long. The aftertaste though is quite unusual as the bergamot emerges and kind of morphs into a fresh orange blossom note towards the end.

The texture was just a little bit chalkier than I’d prefer (but on the scale of chalky things, this was much less so than most other bars that I’d use that word to describe), however I’m used to the super-smooth quality of their Ocumare. But this bar is just too fascinating to not keep eating. If you’ve ever thought that all chocolate was the same, this is a bar to try, because it’s the best demonstration I’ve ever tasted of how varied the flavors within cocoa beans can be. Remember, these aren’t flavors added to the beans, it’s just the inherent flavors within this particular variety, how they were fermented and the way that the Amano team roasted & conched them.

It might be an interesting gift idea for a food-fascinated person in your life - a variety of Amano bars (and maybe a nice bottle of wine or whiskey).

Related Candies

  1. Amano Jembrana
  2. Askinosie Chocolate
  3. Tcho: Beta Batch No. C Ghana 0.7 AH
  4. Amano Single Origin Bars: Madagascar & Ocumare
  5. Michel Cluizel Les 1ers Crus de Plantation
Name: Dos Rios 70%
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Amano Chocolate
Place Purchased: sample from Amano
Price: retail $6.95
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Chocolate, AmanoUnited States, Single Origin, All Natural, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:06 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I actually just received the Dos Rios and Guayas bars in the mail a couple days ago.  Looking forward to trying them.  Art Pollard always seems to come up with fascinating chocolate bars!

    Comment by Julie on 12/10/09 at 4:18 am #
  2. I’m excited to hear they have yet another new bar. I bought the Montanya and Jembrana at the SF Choc Salon, and enjoyed them both. Even my “least favorite” Amano bars are still excellent. Their bars are kinda my standard for good chocolate.

    Comment by KateC on 12/10/09 at 6:08 am #
  3. First off, it was really great seeing you at the LA Chocolate Salon. One of the best things about going to shows such as this is being able to see your various “internet friends.”

    I’m glad you liked the Dos Rios. It is a truly amazing bar made with some of the most unique cocoa beans I have ever seen.  As you noted, this chocolate isn’t quite as smooth as our other chocolates but this was intentional so as to not damage the amazing flavor that comes from these cocoa beans.  The final molding turned out a bit smoother and with a better texture than the pre-release molding (which was done by hand.)

    We have some really exciting bars planned for this year. I can’t wait to see what you think of those as well! Finally, we changed our plans and we _will_ be at the Fancy Food Show (booth 284) so be sure to stop by!

    Founder / Head Chocolate Maker
    Amano Artisan Chocolate

    Comment by Art Pollard on 12/11/09 at 6:18 am #
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