Info Details
Country Madagascar   
Type Dark   (75%)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Madagascar   (Sambirano Valley)
Flavor Crossover   (Earthen x Twang)
Style Rustic      
A mad oddball freak made in Madagascar by Madagascans. Indigenous chocolate to provoke a reconsideration of colonialism.
Appearance   1.9 / 5
Color: dark for Mad; typical orange cast comes thru w/ purple too (sign of substandard post-harvesting?)
Surface: beaten, battered & broken; violent swirling out back
Temper: soft wax sheen
Snap: high pitch on the long axis, low thud along shorter scored portions (possible uneven tempering; early blooming on the break wall)
Aroma   6.7 / 10
roasting on the edge: cocoa husks & dust -> dried coconut -> coffee -> petrol... cut by rarified jackfruit & hazelnut to save it; none of the usual Mad suspects (chert & citric fruit) & leather instead of wood (though sandalwood peeks thru); aerates murky ylang vanilla
Mouthfeel   11.2 / 15
Texture: midweight w/ small grain
Melt: even-paced; astringent grip
Flavor   34.6 / 50
promising start on golden raisin -> clay-rich cocoa -> silica -> bitter acid to the back -> high-pitch sour cranes up to... nothing -> downclimbs potted soil + mushrooms w/ green pineapple & Pear Williams -> crushed rose & vanilla (but none added) -> grinds out angry coffee
Quality   10.8 / 20
Resembles Malagasy on its bad days - which is most of them. Wrong in every way from vintage (poor crop) & ferment (short cycle) to roasting (this origin prone to bittering if overheated)... then conche (insufficient leaving astringent polyphenols of the condensed-tannin variety intact). Dirty batch in need of better winnowing (detectable husks) tops it off.

UPDATE: Madécasse released a dry season crop of deeper chocolate nasal presence & drier, more hazelnut tongue that's highly astringent, the overall difference in rating being negligible.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter; CBS (Cocoa Mass:Butter:Sugar ratio) 14:17:11

Reviewed Autumn 2008


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