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329 of 337 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
I was inspired to go out and buy this bar by research released by Harvard this past march about the health benefits of flavanoids in cocoa. I just went out and picked up the bar with the highest cocoa content assuming I'd be getting a the highest dose of flavanols (the class of flavanoid that is found in cocoa)... after a little more research though, I realized I'd picked the wrong brand for that. Looking at the ingredients, you'll see that the cocoa is "processed with alkali" (aka Dutch processed chocolate). Apparently, 60-90% of flavanoids are removed during Dutch processing (according to wikipedia). From what I read, you're much better off trying trying to find "natural" chocolate if you are going for the health benefits.

On the other hand... I'm totally addicted to this chocolate! At first I found it too bitter and ate it along with some grapes to help sweeten it up, but after a few nights my palate has changed and am loving it just the way it is. Too bad about the Dutch processing.

If you are going for the healthiest brand regardless of price, it looks like the Xocai brand is the way to go. Not only is it natural, but it's cold pressed (heating the chocolate also removes flavinoids) and is sweetened with açai berries. I couldn't find any data on how big of a difference in flavanoid content of cold pressed and non-cold pressed chocolate, but I doubt it's worth the current cost.

There's a few good dark chocolates available here at amazon that are natural and dairy free with high cocoa content including: Dragoba makes an 87% cocoa organic chocolate bar, and Endangered Species makes one at 88% (Black Panther Extreme Dark Chocolate). Stay away from bars that don't post their ingredients on Amazon (such as Green & Black's organic 85% cocoa dark chocolate bar which contains whole milk).
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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2009
I've found this chocolate to be a great solution for my low carbohydrate diet. This chocolate only has 5g net carbs per serving, but I find half a serving to be plenty satisfying for a chocolate fix. Also, this has no artificial sweeteners, so I don't have to worry about digestive problems.

If you don't like dark chocolate, you won't like this. But if you're willing to savor the cocoa flavor, this is a great way to eat a small amount of chocolate without a lot of sugar.
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83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I usually purchase the Lindt 85 on Amazon. However, the last time I went to purchase, the usual supplier was temporarily out of stock so I purchased the 90 instead. It is definitely smoother, even though it is higher in cocoa content. This made me curious, so I checked the ingredients... the 90 is processed with alkali which significantly reduces the flavanoid (antioxident) content of the chocolate thereby significantly reducing the health benefits of eating such high cocoa content chocolate. Very disappointing.

If you are looking for a very dark chocolate that is not too sweet and is very smooth, the flavor and creaminess of this chocolate is very palatable. If you are seeking high-flavanoid chocolate for heart health, look elsewhere.
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81 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2010
I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to Lindt Chocolate, especially their Dark varieties. 85% has been my primary indulgence for awhile, with some 99% on occasion.

Then I discovered 90%. It is truly a confection masterpiece. I expected it to be like 85% but darker or like 99% but sweeter. It isn't, it has a totally different flavor, rich in cocoa, lighter on the bitterness. I actually find it to be much smoother than 85%.

For those that don't like Dark Chocolate, please realize that like wine, coffee and dark beer it takes a little bit of time to acquire the palate to appreciate the complex flavor. But if you go slowly, starting with 65% and going up to 70, 85% and 90% as your palate adjusts, you will discover how wonderful it can be.

When you're starting out, don't chew on the chocolate, just let it melt in your mouth.

I find that when I eat milk chocolate, it tastes good but it never satisfies me. Dark chocolate is different, it is rich and deeply satisfying.

Enjoy your 90%,
Nicky

p.s. This used to be much cheaper on Amazon! Now it's outright expensive. I can get 12 bars for $24 at my local supermarket.
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106 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2011
This WAS a great product. It was great tasting and it had a crazy low amount of carbs compared to most anything else out there. For people who need to manage their carb intake, this was a real treat and there wasn't much else out there that compared. There is, I found on receiving my latest shipment, a new formula and the carb count has almost doubled from 8g per serving to 15g. This might not matter to most people but for some it can be a critical issue. I imagine it still tastes great with all the extra sugar and milk or whatever they've added but, unfortunately, this product no longer serves the niche it once did. Where it once was this great-tasting, low-carb indulgence, it's now just one of ten million sugary things out there.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
These chocolate bars are made with 85% extra dark chocolate. You have to acquire a taste for it because the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it contains. You have to acquire a taste for it because when you taste it for the first time, it has a slightly bitter taste. It took me less than a week to start enjoying the taste. Now, I find I don't care for regular chocolate because it's too sweet. It's also a much healthier chocolate to eat.
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2010
Now that the new "improved" bar is made in NH, USA they seem to think that it has to have soy lecithan and be made for the so called "American taste" as in sweeter and smoother. They really ruined a good thing. When the new version appeared at the local store I bought some and did not tell my family that it was a different ingredient list. The comments went like this: "This isn't the same" "This tastes like a cheap chocolate bar" "Do you have any Lindt 70% chocolate?" and so it went. When my current stash of the old style is gone I will be looking for a new favorite bar. I still find the old style once in a while, but I am afraid that it will be gone for good unless it can be ordered from a European supplier.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
I ordered a 12-pack of the Lindt 85% cacao chocolate bars from Amazon in January... They are my favorite variety.... the 90% is too bitter for me, while the 70% has too much sugar. But the 85% is just right...and perfect for slowly melting in your mouth... And supposedly good for you health too, if taken in moderation.

But despite some of the comments above, the box I received had the same (good) formulation for the 85% bars that I've seen in the past -- 5g of protein and 5g of sugar per serving size (four squares), along with 15g of carbohydrates (5%).

I find I'm really satisfied by eating just two squares after lunch... And taking each square, and snapping it into four smaller pieces, thus eight small pieces in total... Letting each piece slowly melt in my mouth tastes great and is very satisfying as well.

PS - Got another order of these lately... And as for the dietary composition of the chocolate, the new bars I just received in Jan. 2013 have labels showing 5%/15g total carbs, 24%/6g of dietary fiber, 5g of sugar and 5g of protein per serving size of 4 squares. From everything I've read healthwise, the best chocolate for you are those in which the sugar is equal to the protein, or just slightly higher in proportion. These 85% bars fit that bill.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2013
Sitting right in front of me on my desk is the 85% and the 90% from Lindt. I started off with the 90% and was eating that for the past several days. The 90% is a finely crafted chocolate, balanced and intense, yet deceptively smooth. Not much on the palate except the cocoa but that's what I like about it. The 85% doesn't taste as well-rounded or refined, and in my opinion is in an entirely different class from the 90%. That is not to say the 85% is a bad product. It no doubt has more variety of flavor than the 90%. It starts bitter, then about 10 seconds later a slight acidity becomes present. As the chocolate begins to melt more quickly, the acidity becomes stronger then gives way to a nice hint of fruit. You're left with a bitter taste in the final palate that isn't as pleasant. It's a great chocolate overall.

I chose the 85% because it was healthier than the 90%. The 90% used to be made from unprocessed cocoa powder until about 2 years ago when their formula changed. Lindt now processes the 90% with alkali. Even light processing takes away two-thirds of the antioxidant content of the chocolate, so I can't justify buying the 90% anymore. The 85% is my daily chocolate for now, and I'm happy with it despite it not being my favorite in terms of taste.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 16, 2014
This is Lindt's finest where good taste meets good health which both merge with reasonable price. It is better than the 90% and 99% Excellence bars. It's naturally-processed chocolate with minimal fillers, an excellent quality cocoa base, and very affordable. The flavor has a nice ramp up, an intense peak, and a good finish.

For those looking for health benefits, you have good cocoa, natural processing, and minimal additives. What does that mean? You get the full benefits of the cocoa, you avoid many of the additives found elsewhere, and the chocolate is packed with antioxidants and good carbohydrates (i.e., the unrefined [unprocessed] carbs your body needs most which most people do not consume enough of)...and while this 85% is loaded with the good carbs, it has minimal low-density carbs (i.e., simple sugar or heavily-processed flours) and so it is a good choice for those watching sugar intake. The fiber content is beneficial for gut health and general health...drinking lots of water with extra dark chocolate is important given the high fiber content means water should be consumed with it (and since most people do not consume sufficient fiber or sufficient water, you now have a win-win).

Between the alkaloids in cocoa (including significant caffeine and theobromine), the beneficial carbs/fiber, and other antioxidants, a reasonable intake of dark chocolate can actually INCREASE metabolism, energy, and general health. It also contains substantial quantity of mono-unsaturated fats, which are very important for health. This is a great choice for just that. The energy boost is progressive, lacks the sugar high, and lacks the sugar crash...making it a good choice for that afternoon period between 1-4 PM when people tend to be most tired! (don't eat it before bed...the caffeine content is more than you would expect). Of course like anything else, moderation is still the key.

I used to eat mainly milk chocolate which is more sugar than cocoa and sometimes more milk fat than cocoa...and it helped play a role in me getting bigger than I wanted to be and hitting a point in which I realized I wanted to and needed to lose weight. I shifted progressively to darker chocolates and now prefer a 85-95% cocoa content...Lindt Excellence 85% is one of the chocolates I can both enjoy the flavor and health benefits without causing weight concerns like most heavily-processed chocolates with lower cocoa content and very high sugar content. I think in recent times that has become wide-spread knowledge with the explosion in the popularity of dark chocolates. If you are thinking about moving towards intense darks, I would advise NOT going directly to this bar. It's great, but compared to most commercial chocolates, it's going to have a more pure cocoa taste which is bitter and far far far stronger. I personally first tried this off of milk chocolates and I hated it because it was a shocker! I then worked my way up using 50, 60 and 70 percent chocolates to slowly acclimate to the flavor change (while I simultaneously changed my diet to cut simple sugars to help loose weight)...progressively my taste changed so now I really do not like anything below 70%. At 85% and above, I generally eat smaller pieces and let them slowly melt in the mouth to enjoy the flavor...I find that also really helps with portion control as I used to eat larger quantities of milk chocolate. Not sure if that helps anyone here, but it helped me be able to turn a food I liked that worked against me into a food I liked that worked for me.

So my vote is anyone who likes dark chocolate should check this out. I buy a lot of artisan brands but I still enjoy this as a go-to and a healthy chocolate I can find in a grocery store or on Amazon for a good value price! :-)

side note...I said at the beginning that this 85% Excellence is Lindt's best...now I will explain why if anyone is still reading my boring review...
Lindt processes their 90% and 99% bars with alkaloids ("dutching"). This is often done to dull flavor, curve bitterness, or hide lower quality cocoa base because the more cocoa in the bar and the less-processed the bar is, the more cocoa quality will determine how good or how poor a bar is. It also kills a huge chunk of the good nutrients in chocolate, and utilizes certain chemicals that many people may not want to consume. But Lindt does not need to do this! This 85% Excellence is proof...their cocoa is top-shelf!!! They don't need to put a muzzle on the intense-but-lovable flavors! The 85% is a stronger flavor than the 90% (and significantly healthier) because of this. So I give the 85% as many thumbs up as I have (which is six because I am actually from a distant planet in which we have 7 hands but one lacking the opposable thumb...we have a contract with NASA's Deep Space Network in which they have arranged Lindt's to be readily available on our planet too...FYI).
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