Costa Rican Dark

by Madre
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Matina   (Amazon hybrid)
Source Costa Rica   (Upala)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Rustic      
A release from a company going thru the chocolate equivalent of boot camp - ‘bar camp’ – working out the kinks & occasionally tripping over Carrie's hand reaching up from the grave, pulling everything/everyone down with her.
Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: dark brown bending towards maroon
Surface: sticking with the theme / motto (“discover the roots of chocolate”), Mayan glyphs adorn the molding
Temper: smudged
Snap: a bit feeble in the midrange; undifferentiated edge (the perfect but fragile waif?)
Aroma   8.9 / 10
intensely caramelized, vanilla driving the scent home -> shifts to peanuts against a background leather... positively Snickered if quite manipulated
Mouthfeel   11.2 / 15
Texture: disaggregated as anal beads
Melt: dramatically accelerates as it jiggles thru
Flavor   37.6 / 50
a chocolate’s chocolate -> quickly rolls into Snickers™ -> faint raspberry at the edges occluded by a dark vanilla painted on pretty thick -> pays it forward to an overbearing carob & treacle, weighs in heavily, downcast toward rubber & tar swamp -> wheels out tamarind as a spare tire -> goes down throat-catching peanut skin & ever black mondo grass
Quality   14.1 / 20
Represents a significant upgrade from the home-kitchen food-processors that got Madre its start. Now it jerry-rigs sundry equipment for smoother contours & better integration of elements.

One characteristic remains the same however thru the changeover: the house preference for clear pronunciation of one or more of the components (witness the full flower treatment of its Cacahuaxochitl). Specifically, in this case, vanilla; quite emphatic & within a whisker of excessive for a seed-crop type that inheres with a resident vanilla-tone all its own.

Along with the added cocoa butter, it pulls the shades on that ripe raspberry sunspot gleaned in Potomac’s bar – from the very same Upala, CR allotment brokered by John Nanci of Chocolate That one likewise weighs in at 70% (though without add’l butter & no vanilla).

Perhaps Madre elects to also cover for some of the bittering in this cacáo type.

The difference really forces & drags the bar down. Good, such as it is, yet nowhere near its equilibrium let alone its optimum.

ING: cocoa bean, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla

Reviewed May 2011


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