Santander Vintage 75% Chocolate 2008

This is the time of year for bargain hunting chocoholics.  For example, Marshalls sells its already discounted holiday merchandise at 50% off. What a great incentive to try something new.

I heard an audible crack when I first bit into this vintage bar by Santander. It’s very well tempered, shiny, and imbued with just enough sugar (9.5 grams per 35 grams of chocolate) to balance the high cacao percentage. My first impression was figgy, dusky, smooth but not creamy, earthy, with a hint of tobacco. On my next taste, the fig diminished, while the purity of their single-origin chocolate hummed a few notes in my mouth. The tune wasn’t especially sophisticated, but catchy.

There is no vanilla. I often find its omission delivers a cleaner chocolate taste.  Sometimes, that’s preferable, as it lets the essence of the bean come through. On other days it’s wonderful to have the extra complexity vanilla provides.

Like most 75% bars a little goes a long way.  The 2008 might not be my first choice on a buying spree, because I’m such a fan of their 70% bar with Pineapple (see my review). However, if adulterating chocolate with fruit gives you the willies, you may prefer this plain rendition.

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