Info Details
Country UK   
Type Dark   (65%; Lot 10147 via Coppeneur)
Strain Blend   
Source St. Lucia   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Neo-Modern      
Believing this to be just another welterweight tipping the scales at a skimpy 65% only invites opening the mouth to grave risk of its enormous punching power. Gram-for-gram this brings down the hammers of Pac-Man Pacquiao & just knocks it out.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: magenta-tinged brown (the basic color to the new int’l mix of cacáo grown around the world)
Surface: thin 35g tongue-shaped mold
Temper: the sweat glistens
Snap: branches right off
Aroma   8.7 / 10
same sticky-wicket as Hotel Chocolat's Rabot-65 except tobacco smoke envelopes juju fruits lit by volcanic-cocoa, sublimating for all the molasses of that other bar, into subtle wintergreen; the total doubling-down for vibrant vivacity
Mouthfeel   13.4 / 15
Texture: hotel-smooth service
Melt: slow hands opposite fast Flavor
Flavor   46.8 / 50
answers the bell & comes out swinging a "red" hot chocolate attack... rapid & intense fruit bursts in waves & flurries -> sweetens to cherry-cola -> lava & wintergreen in the Aroma expressing as pine tar -> black mission fig the uppercut into dipped-pineapple for an animated suspension before settling back as a gooseberry-layered stack into loam & volcanic molasses -> deep honey-fudge w/ inherent vanilla tone
Quality   18.1 / 20
IG/65-96 stands for Island Growers, 65% cacáo-content, 96-hour conche (yeah, bars nowadays require a technical field manual).

Clearly, some farms on St. Lucia grow ‘the really good stuff’, providing an island wide panorama on this origin compared to the telescoped bars from the single-estate Rabot. The fruited-analogs of ICS-95 treated to a healthy ferment can be gleaned in the mix. By selecting from a broader spectrum, this bar tempers Rabot’s micro-topography which really blows the gene pool up with its caustic volcanic material. The wider island growers' chocolate here shows much better agronomy, soil management &/or genetic content.

The upshot: enormous punching power for a 65% - no added cocoa butter accounts for some of that. Also, in simultaneously downshifting to a lower percentage while increasing the conche length generates greater suspension of sugar along the cocoa particles. In the process, Coppeneur (the actual behind-the-scenes maker of this private label offering) cleans up the flaws found in Hotel Chocolat’s inaugural release from St. Lucia – the 72%. The configuration & technique arrest some of the tannic force to highlight those contrastive acids & polish this bar into a dark beauty. Cutting no corners, it covers everyone of them instead: tremendous symmetry, blance, cohesion & stamina.

A rare feat for a 65% semisweet.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, soy lecithin; CBS (Cocoa Mass/Butter/Sugar ratio): ~5:6:6

Reviewed Autumn 2010


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