Info Details
Country Italy   
Type Semi-Dark   (Dark for a 60%)
Strain Hybrid   (incl Scavina)
Source Brazil   (Bahia; Ilhéus; Fazenda Vittoria; 2006 Harvest)
Flavor Earthen   (w/ Crossover potential)
Style Rustic      
Aches to Sting’s message in a... no, not bottle, but bar: it’ll break & mend your heart. Brutally honest for the most part; then gorgeously, if fleetingly, tender as make-up sex. After all, things are never quite the same again, are they?
Appearance   3.3 / 5
Color: evenly warmly umber
Surface: distressed: flaked, chipped, scuffed, beat, battered & broken
Temper: plastic wrapper transfer adds to the humiliation
Snap: craters but to a fine straight edge
Aroma   8.2 / 10
krazy nut house: deep dry nutty cocoa, roasted nuts (brazil, of course + ground nut), & nut-inflected soiled porcini mushrooms dominated by hard cheese (a cross between a real Provolone x the fudging Gjetost, both with their own nut tones) -> at the very bottom of a stiff-butter rubdown lies miniscule feijoa & kiwano -> vegetates mangrove & rubber plants
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: viscous like its caramel Flavor (must be lecithin)
Melt: slow
Flavor   42.7 / 50
dry fudge blast -> hot baked brownies -> caramel teases out black tupelo honey, vanilla, then nuts rolling all over the Pal (for Palate) forming a heavy, practically impermeable layer -> percolates tonka beans -> manioc offset by sorrel & porcini (rare) -> kiwano in the Aroma gives off subtle melon attribute while feijoa contributes beautiful guavasteen, strawberry dapple, & a light sprig of mint -> closes w/ flowering heliconia of pinkish bracts faintly surrounding chocolate-caramel... almost stunning
Quality   16.5 / 20
A deceptive complex, very little seems to be going on but beneath that thick surface plenty happens.

Scavina gerplasm has worked its way into so many hybrids ever since Pound came across it in Peru in 1937 - a cacáo type heralded as much for its floral imprint in the pulp as for its ability to resist Witches Broom disease (Crinipellis perniciosa) – none, however, have so prominently called attention to it before now as this bar has.

Once again Bessone sticks to the house-style & nearly burns out all the hedonics, tampering down & muting the high end, relieved by 40% sugar, generating a paradox of tannic-sweetness, one that nearly pulls it off except for feeling a bit stifled under a lava-layer of caramel.

A good effort in line with a maker defying ordinary expectations, going far afield on his own (Brazil had been written off by most & this helps mark its comeback) to establish a personal signature.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, vanilla

Reviewed Autumn 2009


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