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Dominikana

by Chris & Tom / Manufactura Czekolady
Info Details
Country Poland   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Dominican Republic   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Rustic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Rustic Feel / Refined Flavor
Appearance   3.4 / 5
Color: shoe leather brown
Surface: a schlub: chips, flakes, bubbles, & a missing chunk (something been gnawing on this?)
Temper: reflective
Snap: brittle; evenly sanded edge
Aroma   8.6 / 10
a smoke-out: picholine olive over cigar leaf & hickory chips (+ a bit of petrol too) & a medium chocolate note; generally frutiless
Mouthfeel   11.2 / 15
Texture: weirding: starts out pottery shards / ends up glob & grain
Melt: strange evolution of fits & stops
Flavor   45.5 / 50
sweet-spot sapote right off the block -> brown sugar -> tamarind & fig -> mango with a parched wooded cocoa counter -> dried apricot
Quality   17.1 / 20
Betrayed by rank beans in its Ekwador cru, Chris & Tom find themselves in far better company here with cacáo from The Dominican Republic, an island which for several harvests now rates near or at the world's top in production quality. In return, the label responds in kind.

Subdued fruit. Quietly sweet & defined -- though hardly pronounced -- as every note has a nicely balanced counter, generally configured as browns against reds (figs / tamarind / cocoa vs. sapote / mango / apricot).

Clean too; very little astringency.

While nothing's out of place with flavor, indeed the bar holds true to the D.R. (relatively short & semi-shallow), the Texture is anything but.

It literally ingrains the role that conching plays in the sensory experience: relatively curtailed (30 hours) yet vigorous (hi-friction) to smooth out the volatiles while contributing a coarse mouthfeel. Quite the tradeoff, generating a contrast between Flavor & Texture at odds with one another yet works amiably well together.

This dovetails with another opposing-dynamic: strangely long melt / short flavor progression.

Overall a bit quirky... in line with Poland's national trait.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed October 25, 2011

  

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