/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Lindt Excellence 99%
Lindt Exellence 99%
Posted: 13 October 2010
Even after you've graduated to 99%, you may well find that 99% isn't all it's cracked up to be.
price/gram: USD 0.073
Cocoa %: 99
You've got to hand it to Lindt.
Two decades ago, Green & Black's pushed the envelope with a
tasty 70% bar, a bar
they claim was the first 70% bar in the UK. Other
manufacturers jumped into the fray offering their own
versions of dark chocolate, some legitimately so, others
with darker milk chocolates posing as 'healthy' darks. Now, Lindt says to hell with the competition and ups the ante
with a bar that's 99% cocoa solids.
99%. That's a lot of cocoa solids. People like
to say they'll give 110% on the job, as manufacturers love to claim their bars contain 110% cocoa solids.
But the facts are that you can't exceed 100%. This Lindt
creation contains about as much cocoa as you can
cram into a bar and get away with it. With 99% cocoa
solids, you've only got 1% left to
stuff in everything else.
It's an honest
bar that keeps you honest. What do I mean by that?
Other manufacturers whom I've already named on this site
will offer a 40-45% "dark" bar and herald the claims of
chocolate containing polyphenols and being so good for you.
They neglect to mention the copious sugar they add isn't.
The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants and the less
sugar. The antioxidant claim actually rings true for
this one. This Lindt Excellence 99% bar contains as many
antioxidants as you'll find in chocolate. And the strong cocoa flavor keeps you in check from wolfing
down an entire bar in one sitting. It's as close to
the healthy consumption of chocolate as you're ever going to
But is it
good? Isn't that the question? Anyone can brag
they're into 99% cocoa solid bars. Is that a
boast worth making?
this 99-percenter, the highest cacao bar I'd ever consumed
was Green & Black's 85%.
G & B's mitigated the bitterness of the 85% cocoa solids
with Madagascar vanilla. Lindt doesn't do that here.
Maybe they tried, but with only 1% to play with after 99%
cocoa solids have been added, there probably wouldn't be
enough vanilla flavor to make a difference.
hiding the bitterness. Credit goes to Lindt for the
bar not tasting more bitter. Try tasting
a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder sometime. You
won't be able to get it down the mouth. The texture
and the mouth feel are excellent. Lindt knows you're
in for a lot of bitterness per bite, so they manufactured
this bar ultra thin. That also helps them stretch the
bar out to be deceivingly lengthy. On appearances, the
bar takes up as much shelf space as a 100 to 150 gram bar,
but you only get 50 gram for paying, more or less, the same
price as you would the larger bars. The bar winds up, per gram,
being very expensive. It is one of the few bars I've
ever seen for sale cheaper in a retail outlet in Thailand
than on various American-bases sites on the internet. Lindt was selling these bars for USD 0.10 per gram on
surprise comes on the back note. On G & B's 85%, for
instance, you tasted the bitterness as it went in the mouth,
but upon chewing it, the ending taste was somewhat sweet.
You don't get that with Lindt's 99%. How could you?
There's hardly any sugar to be found. Chocoholics
unused to this, myself among them, will find they miss the
sweet spot. I found these bars to go better with
something already sweet. I ate one with a
piece of coffee cake and the next day ate a piece with a cup
of Vietnamese coffee sweetened with stevia. The 99%
works better as a complement.
that most tasters won't be prepared for 99%. In their
chocolate tasting notes, written on gold foil that
enwraps the bar, Lindt advises tasters to start with their
70%, move up to the 85%, pass stringent exams and obtain
college degrees in chocolate tasting, then move on to the
99%. I concur. Even after you've graduated to
99%, you may well find that 99% isn't all it's cracked up to
be. Think of your favorite actor or actress, one who
can actually act. Now imagine that this actor or
actress had 99% of the lines and screentime in a movie.
Would you appreciate him or her better if the appearances were
limited to 55% or 70%? We've said it before at the
Republic and we'll say it again. Less can be more.
Were I to
compare dozens of 99% chocolates, I'm sure Lindt would score
near the top. But based on price per gram, taste,
balance, this 99% bar, as good as it is for a 99-percenter,
isn't the best way to spend your chocolate-earmarked
earnings. Set your cocoa percentage sites lower and
take in a few less antioxidants. You've got nothing to
worry about, mates. The drinking,
smoking, and partying will kill you before the excess sugar