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Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (72%)
Strain Hybrid   (mite Criollo)
Source Madagascar   (Sambirano Valley)
Flavor Twang   
Style New School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
As most apartment dwellers in the 5 boroughs of NYC will attest, cockroaches can live for 2 weeks without a head because they have "brains-sensors" on their legs. In time, a headless roach will die from starvation.

This bar also lasts beyond its expiration... bubbling & brimming with high register notes on the surface but hollowed out inside. A bit of a Meat Puppet &, to borrow a title from that band of the same name, ‘too high to die’... until it starves & loses stamina.

Make no mistake: this is well over before it ends.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
humble look
Color: classic Mad: light orange-brown
Surface: shallow-scored tablet; super clean / extremely well-vibrated
Temper: soft-wax / mite frosted (bloom)
Snap: brittle hi-crackle (another cue about Temper); finely-sanded break line
Aroma   7.9 / 10
hi & dry: sour cherry headnote, tilting toward cranberry, cut by granite & palm fronds -> pine needles & nuts creep up to animate some citric zest (chironja) around dried cocoa
Mouthfeel   9.4 / 15
Texture: hard; thin bodied
Melt: shards; astringent grip
Flavor   36.8 / 50
strong inherent vanilla-chocolate hit just bruises that cherry in the Aromatics -> sours some for a balsam, joined by all those pine tones + juniper berry -> wood bitter distilling gin tonic (classic Mad) -> jack fruit -> clear alcohol infers light, almost white, fruits (especially the grapefruit component of chironja + white currant) underscored in modest wooden-chocolate counter... & eventually overtakes it -> hits the wall & washes out in bleached action, spared only by a pine cone & its roasted nuts
Quality   14 / 20
Grand entrance breaks down into eerie, nebulous shades of Theo’s Mad 74 (are they sharing the same batch? sourced from John Nanci's Choc Alchemy site?) to reinforce that this particular vintage (2009) out of Madagascar is plagued by suboptimum weather & hasty fermentation. The high notes are there but, again, only initially do they take on any color. And the bottom - never this origin’s strong point – tastes & feels meager.

A few more harvests like this & Madagascar will be the next Ecuador: bumper crops of mediocre cacáo whose good rep will be living off fumes of the past.

This among the first bars to come out of The Bros new crib – a commercial space in B’lyn with upgraded equipment & the result speaks of the need for more tweaks.

ING: cacáo, sugar

Reviewed September 2009

  

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