Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (77%; Lot # 011609)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Philippines   (Davao, Mindanao)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Retro-American      
Criminality & idealism can sometimes go hand-in-hand. For instance, the dirty works serving a higher cause that occasionally call for breaking the law. Just ask former defense attorney Shawn Askinosie. Or consider John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. show more »
Appearance   4.6 / 5
wrapper includes mug shot of lead farmer/accomplice Peter V. Cruz, shirt unbottoned wide-open on his plantation hideway
Color: medium brown w/ just a drop of pigment along the purple-red-orange spectrum medium brown w/ just a drop of pigment along the purple-red-orange spectrum
Surface: Askinosie’s usual air bubbles beneath (all hand-made, not even a vibrating table?)
Temper: semi-gloss
Snap: literal & true; gently sanded/porous edge
Aroma   9.2 / 10
wet & sticky: fermented white grapes & overbearing sourdough bread right out of the packet -> cinnabon-bon perfumes to lavender, honeysuckle, hibiscus, & calendula, the last a marigold to go w/ barley & hops, besotted really, the beer of which spills on sawdust canvas (shades of another Pacific isle - Fijian Amazon seed from Adi) -> picholine green olive + just the tip of asparagus
Mouthfeel   12.7 / 15
Texture: firm but ultimately round
Melt: elongated
Flavor   42.9 / 50
gets down & dirty: super chocolate bread-dough -> bitter ramie/sour louvi to mango interface, a taut complex yielding drift wood (flea-bitten abacá) -> washed ashore coconut shells -> antibiotics tilt off pearls, talc, & sodium bicarbonate into potted soil -> curvature dirties & struggles for balance -> strange dichotomy of beautiful bread ‘n butter underneath mud crumbs to make cake out of oatmeal -> emerges chocolate hash w/ tequila tincture in the far recesses -> clears out bad wattleseed -> stringent almond skins & ground cinnamon before tremendous aftermath taking on more of the floral aromatics to eventual cassis
Quality   16.4 / 20
Another intense offering from Askinosie’s which in technical-chocolate parlance stands for ‘ass-kicking’ thanks in part to a robust 3:2 Mass-to-Fat ratio, felt readily in the Texture.

Aroma almost recalls the florid del Tambo (except this more fermented) while flavor recounts Soconusco’s intitial flirtation with historical heirlooms only to deteriorate as that length progresses (despite these beans having significantly greater consistency both in their genetics & handling). Rarely do you hear the call for lower cacáo-content but this bean could use a fraction more sugar to sweeten the dirty components (the near death-struggle between cohesion & chaos raises questions whether the batch was adequately winnowed or were too many germ stems left intact during fermentation).

Persistent though tolerable bitterness (considering 77% weight) coupled with that stringent finish also indicate on the face of it a) somewhat insufficient ferment (peculiarly at odds however with a highly-cured scent of the Aromatics which fail to translate into core flavor, even if residual acidity is detectable deep in the finish... suggesting sufficient ferment after all; an aspect nonetheless probably beyond Askinoisie’s control); or b) back at the manufacturing plant the roast-to-conche variables preserved bitterness but stripped acidity for the most part, & might be better calibrated.

As is, the bar misses then comes right... but in its afterlife: saved by those sweetly blooming endnotes deep in the envelope (reverberations of another American craft maker – Tcho).

Great start / great finish, so all in-between is (mostly) forgiven.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter; CBS (Cocoa-Butter-Sugar ratio) ~3:2:1


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