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Willie’s Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Review

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Remember Willie Harcourt-Cooze from the 2008 Channel 4 televsion series Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory and 2009's Willie's Chocolate Revolution? That's when I first saw this man who was so passionate for good chocolate.

In the early 1990s, Willie purchased a 1,000-acre site, El Tesoro, in Venezuela and planted in excess of 50,000 cacao trees. In 1998, he began making 100% cacao bars for the locals. Fast forward to 2008, Willie began producing bean-to-bar chocolate in Uffculme, Devon. Willie's Cacao was born. Over the years it has established a reputation for creating iconic 50g square boxes of flavourful chocolate.

Admittedly though, despite seeing the bars line the shelves of my local Sainsbury's for ages, I hadn't tried one. That was, until Amazon gave me some credit to use against an order. To make up for lost time, I picked up a selection of bars° from a variety of origins. Today's bar is Almendra, featuring beans from Sur del Lago de Maracaibo in Venezuela.


Packaging

You can't fail to spot this chocolate bar on the shelve. A deep, rich red box draws the eye, as does the gold-foiled Willie's Cacao logo that sits proudly in the centre. Stylised Almendra text (Spanish for 'almond') sits at the bottom, with additional gold-foiled decorations adding a nice touch.

While the square 50g box doesn't scream 70% dark chocolate to you, there are clues, such as the "Sur Del Lago 70" text, as well as the "dark chocolate with roasted almonds" text at the bottom.

Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Review
A bright red square box catches the eye

It's a small box, spanning just 9cm in width and height, yet it crams a massive amount of text onto the rear, in a minute font size. To begin, there's an introductory paragraph explaining that this bar of Sur del Lago dark chocolate contains sweet, buttery Marcona almonds.

Whip out a magnifying glass and you'll be able to comfortably work through the ingredients list and nutritional information, which is printed in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, French and Spanish. There's clearly a strong European and Nordic market for this bar.

Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds ingredients:
Cocoa mass, raw cane sugar, almonds (20%), cocoa butter. Cocoa solids: 70% minimum.

This chocolate is suitable for vegans and is gluten-free. It contains around 288kcal in this 50g bar, and comprises of around 26% sugars.


Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Review

Open the red square cardboard box and you'll find a golden ticket to chocolate heaven. Specifically, it's a 16-piece 50g chocolate bar wrapped in a golden film decorated with the stylised 'W' from the logo. There's a deep and dark aroma to the bar, with smokey, leathery, Marmite notes dancing around. It's certainly not a shy bar, and the aroma packs a definite punch.

Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Packaging
A golden pouch of chocolate

The snap is clear and crisp, and divides neatly into the moulded segments, despite a generous quantity of almond pieces contained within. The bar has a shiny finish too it, with chocolate dust around the edges. The surface has a speckled appearance to it thanks to the massive 20% almond content in this bar.

The rear of the bar features a patchwork of light blooming where the chocolate meets the almonds, and this can be seen around the edges of the bar too.

Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Bar
16 pre-formed segments of 70% dark Venezuelan chocolate

On hitting your tongue, a noticeable sweetness comes through first, followed by intensely dark cocoa and red fruit notes, with hints of apricot in there as well. There's a creaminess that develops too. It's a surprising contrast to the smokey, leathery notes in the aroma that I expected to dominate the flavour.

Nuttiness, courtesy of the almonds, begins to come into play, just as a strain of bitterness tries to develop, although this is effortlessly held back by the sweetness.

Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Bar Pieces
A generous helping of roasted almond pieces

The nut pieces await you at the end, releasing sweet, roasted notes that border on toasted hazelnut notes.

The long-lasting aftertaste is full of jam and rich chocolate brownie notes There's a glimmer of bitterness but it is kept at bay.

This is certainly a powerful bar, with bold flavours courtesy of the 70% chocolate complimented by sweetness and a comforting nuttiness from the generous helping of almonds in the mix. This might be too dark and too rich for some to comfortably handle. For me, it's an ideal snacking bar, with a segment or two feeling just as indulgent as it does satisfying.

Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds Review

RRP: £1.99 | Willie's Cacao | Shop now°

A flavourful dark chocolate with the added sweetness from shed loads of Marcona almonds. The flavours pair beautifully and the sweetness helps to balance out any potential bitterness. A smooth, satisfying, nutty dark chocolate that is ideal as a well-deserved treat or snack, little and often.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 4.6

Where to Buy Online

I purchased my bar as part of an offer on Amazon here°. It's also available at the Chocolate Trading Co (£1.99°), at The Pop Up Deli (£1.47), and direct from the Willie's Cacao website (£2.15°).

Tell Willie's Cacao You Saw It On Chocolatier.co.uk!

Please mention Chocolatier.co.uk in your order notes when you place an order with Willie's Cacao online. It means the world to me, and lets Willie's Cacao know Chocolatier.co.uk helped you decide to make a purchase today. Thank you for your support

Do you have a favourite Willie's Cacao bar? What should I buy next? Let me know in a comment below.

Disclosure: I purchased a 50g bar of Willie's Cacao Almendra Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds from Amazon for £0.99. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own.

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