Porcelana 70%

by Choklat
Info Details
Country Canada   
Type Brut   (70%)
Strain Porcelana   (Criollo)
Source Venezuela   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Industrial      
REDUX REVIEW: Every now & then the C-spot® revisits a barsmith to check in for an update & taste how it's progressing, or regressing as the case may be. So little has changed at Choklat in the 2 years since this bar was first reviewed here that it basically merits a re-run with only slight modifications. Below is both the original copy, plus some recent addendum.


Porcelana, it has been said many times, is the Holy Grail that lights up at the crack of dawn; from there, all day long it shines on.

This bar instead renders the chalice a blunt instrument full of reminders of conquistadores receiving priceless art objects from the Incas & Aztecs, only to melt them down for the base commodity they contained: gold. In other words, still valuable... just artless.

The eminent architecture professor Vince Scully of Yale echos the sentiment in referring to the 1963 destruction of NY’s original Penn Station: "One entered the city like a god. One scuttles in now like a rat."

Likewise, there's enough butter in this to start a candle factory or apply all over the body as sunscreen on the hottest day at the beach.

An example of overkill by way of smothering the most delicate of cultivars. A thickly-veiled schloklat; a butter-bar really.

Yes, the age of cocoa butter is upon us: a "Dark-White" in praise of cocoa butter.
Appearance   4.9 / 5
Color: almost strawberry-blonde, this blushing golden-brown
Surface: barely a scratch or swirl (extremely well-vibrated)
Temper: low-gloss matte
Snap: sharp nearing tight; barely on this side of lyrical
Aroma   7.1 / 10
2010 Review: of beans sitting in the warehouse fumigated w/ gas (prevents webby moths) & then steamed w/ detergent once out of the jute sack -> beneath those vapors struggle nuts (almond / macs) -> ultimately aerates beautiful juniper-flavored tobacco thru biriba cream & fruit of cocona

2012 Review: momentary but monstrous MIlk Choc caramel with loud peanut (clear vanilla at work) but the more things change the more they slip & slide before stumbling on the same waxed deck of butter, oil & rubber (see Mouthfeel below)
Mouthfeel   6 / 15
Texture: wax factor™
Melt: a clot; insoluble
Flavor   36.1 / 50
2010: it’s on right away with the latter portion, thankfully, of the Aroma -> butter & wax congeal for pink bubble gum, then locks up cotton candy without the air (dense butter sees to that) -> wax-slick traps tobacco leaf & predominates throughout, interrupted briefly by dried wild blueberries -> bottom scrub of vanilla-cocoa -> dirty lactic acid for soiled cream -> burnt brownie (“oh, honey, the roast is done”) -> methionyl acetate springs for some mushrooms / Albizea saman bark -> stringent almond skins at the exit

2012: vanilla -> buttered vanilla -> vanilla butter (get the theme?) -> soft wood -> back to vanilla & more butter then, if possible, ever more butter still, roasted up enough to simulate hazelnut oil + burnt peanut skins -> soggy camphorous firewood
Quality   10.4 / 20
2010: Weirdest / wackiest Venzy Porcelana around. Mercifully, the bar’s contour begins well & ends well... enough.

Overall technique crude, as if these beans were stepped on by chukka boots with soles made of vulcanized butter, & way too much of it. Tastes of a roast of an hour+... easily (this bean must've been terribly acetic to withstand that treatment & still leave some in the bar).

The added cacáo butter obviously originates from outside the Venezuela-Criollo family. Slovenly hard tack - & was it ever deodorized? - summons the tactile-sensation of Adi’s undeodorized butter. The advertised CBS (Cocoa Mass/Butter/Sugar ratio): ~4:3:3 feels woefully miscalculated (by about a third), as all that wax just coats the palate thick.

On the plus side, it fixes & carries some wild highs (especially that blueberry mound, yet even that comes off flimsy because of too little undergirding, as well as the preceding bubble yum/cotton candy FXs), leaving lots of low points in their wake (the entire mid-section; what Coppeneur’s left as a grace note to an offset, this practically spotlights whole).

It’d be an overstatement to characterize this an all-out butter-bandit even as it slips away & comes dangerously close to drawing a blank on core chocolate flavor, especially of the MC variety which Porcelana is noted for in its more conventional delivery.

2012: Same formulation, just more vanilla.

The liners notes state "very complex" (a one-note complex), "fruity chocolate with distinct highlights of raisin, red wine and caramel". If true, they're all buried under a pile of fat (save for the vanilla-generated caramel).

This bar desecrates those white pearls f/k/a (in this particular case) "Porcelana" by slathering them in butter (seemingly by the pound), then further besmirching in covering them up under mounds of vanilla. So diluted of cocoa mass it might even be safe for pet dogs who otherwise could die from cacáo's theobromine content.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, vanilla

Originally Reviewed Spring 2010; Revised August 2012


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