Buena Vista Dark Milk

by Coppeneur
Info Details
Country Germany   
Type Dark-Milk   (52%)
Strain Hybrid   (moderate Criollo)
Source Dominican Republic   (Hacienda Buena Vista)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Neo-Modern      
'Less is more' may work with environmentalists, but not in love (nor, sometimes, with chocolate) where if less is more... nothing can be everything.
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: medium saddle brown
Surface: Coppeneur riding high again; very even & clean
Temper: semi-gloss
Snap: plunks really well for a 52%, & even more so factoring in Milk
Aroma   8.7 / 10
poly-lactose: cacáo flavonoids (the polyphenals) intermix w/ dairy (lactic acids) -> distills cocoa rum & thick smoked-licorice -> vanilla mocha-toffee
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: very little stick, mostly smooth
Melt: rapid for a Milk
Flavor   39.3 / 50
classic vanilla Milk Choc -> caramel -> extra umami bite darkens up cocoa-toffee -> protruding phenol (predominantly stripped of any bitterness) -> flattens out a dirty milk wash -> dark Reese’s™ peanut butter cup minus all the sugar -> dried cocoa milk powder mixed w/ background machine grease & metal (residual avocado oil from BV-72)
Quality   15.9 / 20
An elaboration that starts out classic Cadbury’s then tilts considerably as this potent origin-cacáo takes over the progression, fighting milk’s influence, which has a hard task melding once stamina breaks down & Flavor rapidly recedes into the faster-than-usual melt for that flat finish.

Questionable pairing in general, particularly how this crop’s vegetal aromatics become diffuse, further obscured by vanilla, creating strange background effects, & Coppeneur’s hi-roast just overshoots it to put the dagger in this bar's back.

The Buena Vista series presents somewhat of an unorthodox vertical tasting. Most portfolios improve as the line gets sweeter... up to a point, that is... when gains reach a threshold, often around 55% to 60% cacáo-count & marginal increases in sugar yield diminishing returns (see Claudio Corallo, El Rey’s Carenero collection, Santander, Richart’s 80%/70% formulations, or Domori’s 100%/70% comparisons of identical origins, which in the main follow the rule with minor deviations).

Coppeneur’s Dominican ensemble (BV-92; BV-72; + this bar) does just the opposite - a regression of type; dilution equaling diminution. The lower the cacáo-content, the lower the performance.

The Dark-Milk here recalls Buenaventura Báez, that rebel-turned-president of the Dominica Republic who constantly ran around the world inviting foreign powers to annex his country, as if Coppeneur’s, unsatisfied with its success, feels the urge to give this cacáo away by giving it the treatment; first with sugar (the departure from the 92% to the 72%), then milk (in this Dark-Milk), & who knows what next (a bar with Flavored additives?).

Sometimes first impressions count most & it’s best to leave well enough alone.

Buena Vista creates a pause in the upward momentum of a label which has been on a meteoric hot streak lately, doubly so considering how even rookies are hitting home runs out of D.R. recently (Rogue, Mast, Soma). Pulling crop from a single estate (Buena Vista) rather than all over the island for greater variety as do most others may explain some of this. Or, as an early release prototype, maybe the kinks are still being worked out.

ING: cocoa mass, milk pwdr, cacáo butter, sugar, vanilla

Reviewed 5/30/09


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