Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (67%; Batch #140731)
Strain EET   
Source Ecuador   (Pichincha; Mindo)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Classic      (neo-)
REDUX REVIEW -- below are segments of Mindo 67%, initially reviewed in 2012, followed by a refresher in 2014. The rating & metrics (upper right) apply the updated (& improved) version.

A chocorator (or chocorateur to Francophile sophisticrats, the chocolate equivalent of a wine sommelier) recommended this bar, explaining "it's better than their 77%". At first that sounded like quite the lukewarm endorsement.

In response to why that is, she resorted to instinctual preferences, "I like it more", followed by a cliff-hanger, "It has more..." .. more what?

At the risk of completing her thought... well, more definition & clarity (however streamlined).

She said so rather apologetically, even sheepishly, mindful that in her position & in this age of macho-cacáo when every sui-serious Darksider strives to out-prove themselves with ever more punishment by gorging on the highest percentage bars possible (in the 80%+ class), it takes real cajones & courage to go against the grain (grain, which Texturally speaking, this bar has plenty of) in stating the obvious: what a cute Ecuadorable bar.
Appearance   3.5 / 5
Color: raven brown (purple-black)
Surface: fine-line scratchitti; brushed over pinholes & air bubbles
Temper: semi-sullen
Snap: gutsy beyond its percentage
Aroma   8.3 / 10
draws a blank... almost unprecedented in the annals of chocolate... flat out nothing until a dusty smattering of white pepper -> opens some to expel its storage conditions (a little mold, jute sack, cement) -> then more traditional Ecuador appears (blackberry-ishpingo) mixed with grains / starch (especially cassava)

very related to its 77% sib except more controlled formal restraint… wooded (recessed eucalyptus) / grounded (top soil & flintstone) without any acetic acid or rubber… & then ishpingo-tea which diffuses blackberry char in a rare stunner together
Mouthfeel   11.7 / 15
Texture: powderful...
Melt: 2012: ... & consequently fast dissolve
2014: mealy wax
Flavor   45.2 / 50
good & nutsome blast of cocoa -> meters down & dilute toward whitish fruit &, here's another first for chocolate, water -> nuts rebound (filbert / almond blend) but no getting 'round the simple if husky cocoa -> banana, in a cross hatch to that earlier white fruit -> substrate chalk / cardboard in the aft-length

juicy blackberry-infused chocolate -> ishpingo / cinnamon allows for some slight graham crackering... undying fruitscape -> late emerging herbal greens & roots gleaned in the 77% -> rear caramel -> slices off cocoa pound cake
Quality   17.6 / 20
Cottage-hobbyist material; safe comfort fare.

These seeds need help... lots of help from lots of sugar.

Yes, sugar -- the one "legal" additive which purists among the cocoa-mafia deem acceptable to still qualify as "pure chocolate" after "banning" vanilla, lecithin, & even cocoa butter. (Note to The Syndicate: chocolate is an unnatural compound with respect to its being a human invention unfounded in nature).

Even so, sugar can do only so much here. Mindo makes a wise choice to add 10% extra to their fraught 77%.

Direct-trade / direct-action chocolate as the manufacturer in Dexter Michigan has cultivated contacts & a stake in cacáo properties around the Mindo area of Ecuador.

The premier commercially-avalable chocolate crafted from Heirloom V cacáo in a superior configuration (just cocoa nuts & sugar).

Ridiculous levels of expressed blackberriness, practically unprecedented in scale & volume. Little-to-nil stringency that so often marks Arriba-type cacáos; ditto bitterness. The ponderous, irregular melt merely distracts from the main event -- Flavor -- in a peripheral sense. And in this respect, the original Heirloom exemplar surpasses Mindo's due to Guittard's roll mills that pulverize particles to a finer micron size. That one also covers a broader spectrum of the Flavor Wheel.

But those looking for a good gobsmacking, Mindo 67% rates as the 'go-to' bar for this seed lot in the Semi-Dark range.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar (cocoa butter -- 2012)

Reviewed March 7, 2012
Revised September 24, 2014


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