Sunday, March 02, 2014

Excellence Bars from Lindt

Every year for Christmas, I receive a large assortment of Lindt chocolate, as my family knows I like chocolate, and it is the only "real" chocolate store in town.  I've reviewed the lindor truffles and basic bars before, but this year, I was upgraded to the "Excellence" line of bars.

Since I had a whole flight of bars, I invited my favorite chocolate tasters to join me in tasting them all.  You'll see their comments below as well.

While Lindt is still not high end chocolate, myself, and many of my chocolate tasting club members were very pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed these bars.  Everyone reacted pretty much the same way, commenting how they never expected such complex or smooth chocolate from Lindt.

I don't expect my higher end chocolate stores here to start carrying these bars, nor would I go out to purchase them myself, but I'd gladly receive another stockingfull of them!
Excellence Dark Strawberry.
"Our fine dark chocolate is combined with real strawberry pieces to create an intense chocolate experience with innovative flair."

They said strawberry and they didn't lie!

It tasted like ... strawberry.  Dark chocolate, with crispy bits of dehydrated strawberry throughout.  It also smelt very strawberry, the aroma was incredibly strong when you opened the wrapper.

It reminded me of a chocolate dipped strawberry, but obviously with the balance of ingredients different, so not as much strawberry.  Another taster said it was "very sweet, creamy, and … strawberry. Not as much texture as expected given how it looked."  Another said,  “I like the strawberry! Interesting.  It's good, actually!” And another: “I’m not sure I’d buy it on my own, I’d rather just have chocolate and strawberry on their own”.

Overall, a fascinating bar that we were all glad to try.
Supreme Dark Chocolate Excellence Bar.
"A full-bodied dark chocolate, masterfully crafted to be smooth and rich with a profound cocoa flavor and surprisingly balanced taste."

Smooth, rich, really nice dark chocolate.  90% was a great choice of darkness.  Best Lindt we have had.

Even Emil said, “Rich and creamy, a hint of sweetness, almost a bit nutty, but still has nice bitterness, not too gritty. Shockingly, better than Lindt’s 99%."  Another said,  “The lack of grittiness I really appreciate, it melts in your mouth”.  And a final taster said, “Definitely very dark, bitter and not sweet, but very flavorful. Not my favorite, the initial bitterness is too much for me.”

Everyone was really impressed by this one.  Someone tasted a bit of cinnamon.  Final taster said: “I give that one a A+!”
Excellence Dark Chocolate Intense Mint.
"A rich combination of dark chocolate infused with mint for an invigorating experience."

This was actually pretty minty, although not what I'd call "intense", as the label promised.  Also not that dark for a dark chocolate, and sweeter than we expected.  Very smooth.  Good for what it was, but not my thing.
Excellence Dark with a Touch of Sea Salt.
Made with Fleur de Sel crystals.

This was another very nice smooth chocolate.  Not super dark, but clearly not a milk.  Salt on the finish, not as pronounced as I'd like but there.

On subsequent tastings of this, I decided not to share it.  I really was addicted to how silky smooth it was, and how the salt came through on the finish.  This was a bar to savor.

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 Roasted Almond Excellence Bar

“Dark chocolate with roasted almond slices”. 

This was pretty sweet for a dark chocolate,  but very smooth.  The almond slices were a welcome addition for some crunch.  Not remarkable, not bad.
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