by Dandelion
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%; Batch 1)
Strain Pajarito   
Source Colombia   (Santander)
Flavor Naked   
Style Industrial      (neo-)
What should've been this label's Candylion bar is, in all probability, an invasive weed instead.
Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: dark vermillion
Surface: another wildly uneven pour by Dandelion (or are the molds designed this way?)
Temper: even tempered
Snap: sheepish on the score lines; a pit bull in the center
Aroma   6.1 / 10
a bit of a flea-bitten rubber dooky (seriously; some definite sulphuric compounds) -> the compost pile aerates dusty & musty to dried hibiscus / marshmallow / slippery elm -> jute / hay / tonka -> charcoal -> saved by a rose note
Mouthfeel   13 / 15
Texture: round
Melt: fine timing; evacuates with some astringency
Flavor   34.2 / 50
rose vapor -> marshmallow herb -> randomizes to arracacha (taproot starch exhibiting cooked flavors of celery, cabbage & roasted chestnut; a/k/a apio criollo ‘creole celery’), then malanga (a/k/a xanthosoma or cocoyam; quite earthen starchy) -> Oreo™ sandwich... coal / soot -> dirty sarsaparilla -> cocoa stone works -> nice after-linger however on the Colombia ghosts of vintages past (marshmallow & cotton candy)
Quality   14.8 / 20
Been awhile since anyone took a crack at Colombia's nuts (by last account Bessone a few years ago) to wonder where the country went in the craft chocolate movement.

Sadly, Colombia has never ranked highly among the new crop of American barsmiths; strange considering it sits in the Americas, right in their own backyard. Only the mid-sized Guittard, hardly a boutique maker, produces a bar with seeds sourced from there -- the (at least once) rhapsodic Chucuri.

What should be a hot destination given its historical lore has largely been abandoned.

This won't change that. And apparently for good reason.

Dandelion imported these seeds indirectly via John Nanci of Chocolate Alchemy. They show further degradation of Colombia's incipient Criollo groves at the hands of Pajarito + dumb clones (has CCN invaded?).

A bar further hampered by similar pitfalls found in Dandelion's Hamakua (ferment & roast issues which contribute to both astringency & charring respectively). The former helps to generate the early rose as well as that late stage stringent mouthfeel, while the latter rekindles Venchi™ on some of its heat experiments, complicated perhaps by variable seed size for an altogether uneven roast.

Unremarkable except to those hardy types on the lookout for a spartan formulation (just cocoa & sugar) with jagged edges to get them closer to the source.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed February 22, 2012


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