Amano is a bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in Orem, Utah. They use vintage equipment to make award-winning chocolate from chocolate growing regions around the world.
Madagascar Sambirano 70%
Aroma: Butter, rich chocolate, red fruit, wood, raisins
Flavor: Sweet, rich and complex. Rich but mellow chocolate flavor with fudge, milk, butter, and caramel notes. A classic but gentle Madagascar juicy red fruit tang fruitiness like syrupy raspberries, grapes, and peaches, along with some interesting notes like lemon and sumac plus dried fruit flavors – raisin, fig jam, dried apple. It’s creamy, like cooked grains and vanilla pudding with a slight starchiness like powdered sugar. The sweet red fruit and creamy flavors dominate. Vanilla comes through. Very nice.
Recommendation: Recommended. This bar is complex enough to be interesting for a dedicated chocophile while also being a crowd pleaser. It’s also a good deal at $8-9 for 3 oz. bar.
Batch info: Lot no: 315039, Best by October 2020
Aroma: Rich chocolate: brownie, chocolate buttercream, cocoa shells, a soft subtle earthiness, like celery or a root cellar, fallen leaves, raisins, raspberries, a peppery note
Flavor: The main flavors are mellow chocolate, like hot cocoa or chocolate buttercream frosting, and creamy fruity vanilla candy with a slight starchiness – like raspberry marshmallows. There is a very slight bitterness, like toasted almonds. A slight musty, mold-like flavor appears for a while and fades. There are also some soft fruit and earthy flavors – orange creamsicle, a hint of orange rind, hazelnuts, concord grape juice, red fruit, subdued wood, juniper, and mushroom, and a very soft red wine flavor at the end.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. The musty flavor detracts somewhat from the overall experience but is faint enough that it doesn’t overwhelm the pleasant chocolate, vanilla, and red fruit flavors.
Batch info: Lot no: 315040, Best by February 2021
Venezuela Cuyaga Village 70%
Aroma: red wine, root cellar, ash
Flavor: starchy, ash, bitter, marshmallow, vanilla, store bought frosting, some pleasant fruit flavors - raspberry, astringent, a weird vegetal bitterness, licorice, herbal
Recommendation: Not recommended. The flavors of the cacao are not particularly complex and have some unpleasant starchiness, bitterness, and burnt flavors
Batch info: Lot no. 315004, best by January 2021