/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Lindt Excellence Mint Intense
Lindt Excellence Mint Intense
Posted: 10 November 2010
With this mint bar -- and not just Lindt, but Lindt Excellence -- I felt betrayed. The copy on Lindt's site conveys a premium chocolate with premium ingredients. Premium artificial flavoring isn't what I had in mind.
price/gram: USD 0.033
Cocoa %: 47
Another range in the Lindt line which is, at my best guess,
supposed to taste excellent. If horrifying were
Lindt's intention, the line could've been called Lindt
Repugnance. Lindt even set up their own
dedicated web site for this range (far from excellent
when I checked it -- the domain didn't resolve) , and they're proud to
tell you that Excellence is "all about selecting and roasting cocoa
beans and the art of creating distinctive and delightful
chocolate tastes profiles [with this] gourmet chocolate that
is prepared by selecting the world's finest cocoa beans and
creating the finest textures."
For the Chocolate Republic, I
had previously tasted the
Excellence 99%. That bar wasn't for everyone.
The Excellence range also comes in 70%, 85%, 90%. In
fact, I thought all the Excellence bars were ones made with
ultra high cacao contents, and that's not true. My
girlfriend brought home a tiny 35 gram bar of the Mint
Intense, containing only 47% cocoa solids, well below my
impressions. This bar looks so tiny next to the
Excellence 99%, but it's just a packaging gimmick. The
Excellence 99%, at 50 grams, is packaged to make it look
like it's 100 grams.
Full disclosure as always at
the Republic: mint is not my favorite. I
actually like mint a lot -- in gums, ice creams from time to
time, in tea, in alcoholic beverages. I
just don't think it adds much to chocolate. Okay, I
used to think that way. Since I founded the
Chocolate Republic, I've had some very tasty mint
combinations that have opened up my mind to its greater
Several weeks back, I had the
pleasure of eating Green &
Black's Mint Fondant. This wasn't your typical
mint bar. The organic dark chocolate was stuffed with creamy mint filling, a delicious combination. Lindt opts for the more typical mix with their bar.
The bar is infused with natural peppermint oil. I
think the creamy mint filling worked better for G & B's bar
because G & B was using 70% cocoa solids which can taste
quite bitter on their own. Since Lindt is only using
47% in this very thin bar, a creamy filling would not only
be impossible but overkill as well.
When I rated G & B's mint
bar, it was the best mint bar I'd ever sampled. This
Lindt bar provided some pretty viable competition, however.
Taste-for-taste, I'd consider them equal. Given the
nearly identical prices and the fact G & B's is organic and
crafted from higher cacao content (making it higher in
antioxidants), I'd be more inclined to pick G & B's.
Discovering something relatively shocking about this Mint
Intense bar led me to lower its rating somewhat and would
make me all that more eager to choose G & B's on
nearly every subsequent visit to the choco-market.
On the import my girlfriend bought in Thailand, underneath
the Thai import sticker was the bar's ingredients in
English. The second-to-last ingredient was "natural
peppermint oil" and the last, "flavouring." Probing
further on Lindt's American web site, I saw that this last
ingredient was listed as "artificial flavor."
Different food labeling laws in different countries allow
Lindt to get away with calling it something innocuous in
This wouldn't have caused a flicker of the eyelid if the
brand name were Cadbury, Hershey, Meiji, or Nestle.
None of those are premium chocolate brands. With this
mint bar -- and not just Lindt, but Lindt Excellence -- I
felt betrayed. The copy on Lindt's site convey a
premium chocolate with premium ingredients. Premium
artificial flavoring isn't what I had in mind. I lost
all respect for the bar. There are no excuses for
this. Lindt's been in the chocolate-making business
for over one-hundred and fifty years. C
Lindt have added 10 to 15 American cents to the price of a
100 gram bar and devised an all-natural way around the
flavoring issue? Yeah, if it mattered.
Dig in with a
smile if you don't mind corners being cut. Vote with
your mouth and your wallet if you do.
Switzerland has Lindt Excellence. It's Swiss chocolate, very dark chocolate, with 47% solids and an intense mint flavor. Like it?
The Chocolate Republic with Doug at Doug's Republic reviews this great chocolate bar.