Ah Valrhona, I had heard so much about this chocolate company, people seem to rave about the quality and deliciousness of their chocolate, a French chocolatier that is meant to be one of the best in the world, other chocolatiers sometimes in fact use Valrhona's chocolates to produce their own...wow it must be good!
Therefore I was beyond happy when I popped into my local Waitrose and saw this Jivara 40% Grand Crus Milk Chocolate Bar just staring at me from the shelf, Grand Crus means that the cocoa bean used to make the chocolate bar is all from the same single region, in this case Ecuador using the fine Arriba bean I would presume. I was so excited to try this, not only is it presented beautifully in a nice square shaped package but it was wrapped in a gorgeous black foil wrapper printed with the Valrhona name; the presentation just screams quality..I hoped the flavour would too.
Oh my, on opening it the chocolate had a very strong chocolatey smell...however it did remind me of Dairy Milk, it had that same sort of creamy, sugary smell..and although I love the smell of Dairy Milk I'm not such a big fan on the flavour and I hoped that this Valrhona bar wouldn't deliver the same.
Thankfully it did not; this chocolate bar is out of this world; no joke, it is so amazingly creamy & buttery with delightful vanilla,malt & caramel notes that are balanced perfectly never getting too sweet but just complementing one another. The choclate has an excellent formation, smooth, even that just melts so easily and softly in the mouth enrobing your whole mouth in its creamy chocolateyness. I would probably describe this as quite a mild milk chocolate, it's not fruity or too much at all and would probably be good to use to start introducing people to finer quality chocolate, for me I loved it, this was the best milk chocolate I've had yet and can completely see the hype about this brand!
Taste - 9.6/10 - I couldn't really fault it on taste too much, it was just what I look for in a chocolate, like, malty caramel notes, beautiful.
Texture - 9.3/10 - Such a beautiful smooth butter chocolate, melts amazingly.
Appearance - 9/10 - Packaged beautifully and like how the squares are not standard, offers a nice different approach to a chocolate bar.
Price - 7/10 - It is pretty expensive, I paid £2.95 for my 70g bar, it's definately a chocolate bar to be savoured.
Overall - 9.1/10 - My favourite milk chocolate I've tried yet!!
To view more about Valrhona visit their website at www.valrhona.com