Info Details
Country Canada   
Type Brut   (100% gently brutal; Batch A2)
Strain Blend   
Source (Ghana; Madagascar; Dominican Republic)
Flavor Crossover   (Earthen x Twang)
Style Neo-Modern      
When Ornette released Shape of Jazz to Come way back in 1959, he was being both pompous & prophetic in declaring a post-bop apocalypse with himself at the center of it. (Miles where?; What Coltrane?).

More than 50 years later no one really knows what to call the shape (harmalodics?).

Just say it’s Ornette, it’s good or it’s like this special knowledge of The Grand Arcanum (that deep secret alchemy of the philosopher's stone): a well-tempered cacáo thanks to buttered insights.
Appearance   3.1 / 5
Color: translucent for a 100; w/ purple-red dye
Surface: thin pour / shallow score to the mold
Temper: cloudy (early bloom?)
Snap: brittle / hollow (confirming suspicions w/ Temper)
Aroma   8.2 / 10
buttery leather & greens (tobacco + evergreens [spruce, pine, silver fir]) -> mineral-citrus... very light considering
Mouthfeel   13.1 / 15
Texture: starts parched then self-corrects into middleweight paste w/ precious little stick & grip
Melt: even-paced / patience
Flavor   47.6 / 50
goes nuts... walnuts, marcona almonds & mongongo rolled in coriander, the latter leading onto... -> minerals (pink chert & manganese) & citrus join the fray (mostly subacids – loquat, litchi, white currant) -> bitter finger (radicchio/chicory leaf) mercifully held in check by butter -> pots down in a soil grab w/ roots & brambles + a few mushrooms too (wood’s ear) &, again, butter smoothes over to calm the gamy nerves for a dirty cream biscuit mash w/ coconut / chestnut -> acids return (this time around more wild: marula & its seeds w/ grapefruit extract) -> trails off mild tobacco leaf & green tea &, at last, the one & only semblance of chocolate
Quality   19 / 20
A smart formulation that deserves its place alongside the best unsweeteneds. Flaws in Texture & Appearance are ancillary & probably weatherized. Less domineering than Domori’s Puro (higher fat content in this accounts for that); more composed than Pralus Le 100 (multiple origins here play farther afield to create balance).

Big butter the fulcrum on which this all hinges. Without it the bar would rage into helter-skelter; the beef-jerky territory so common to this punishing percentage. Contributions from Madagascar and D.R.’s esters, of tremendous sustain, make for deceptively inherent sweetness to further bend the curve toward tolerance for its bitters, particularly in the late stages once the butter balm starts wearing thin under cacáo’s tannic stresses.

Seldom is 100% a reason to get excited, let alone cause for celebration.

A real achievement – both a tour de force & horizon.

ING: cacáo

Reviewed Autumn 2009


Pin It on Pinterest