by Agostoni
Info Details
Country Italy   
Type Semi-Dark   (61%)
Strain Blend   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (x Spices/Herbs)
Style Mainstream      
Regina... the "queen", in this case of all vegetable fats, in an exposé on the very slippery slope called 'cacáo-content'
Appearance   2.3 / 5
Color: pale
Surface: frosted
Temper: humble
Snap: withdrawn
Aroma   6.8 / 10
a bit timid & blank other than dirt-encrusted wood from the Silk Cotton tree (Ceiba pentandra) & dried cocoa
Mouthfeel   12.6 / 15
Texture: slipperier than a bar of soap in a wet shower
Melt: medium glide
Flavor   44 / 50
quick attack on spiced chocolate (cinnamon cocoa) -> frangipani & sassafras join in the party -> pronounced brown sugar -> dissipates from the mid-point on... idles over a cherry stem -> still maintains enough persistency to carry flavors thru to the end to what becomes black cherry -> kola fizz with some add'l fruit (mammy sapote & mango) -> slight paper cut opens up soft cocoa tannins issuing from a fudge-pack
Quality   16.4 / 20
Cacáo-content percentages along with single-origins has fueled much of the marketing for premium chocolate in the early 21st century.

By itself cacáo-content amounts to a rather meaningless measure due to how barsmiths manipulate the proportion of cocoa butter to cocoa mass. There are many so-called "semisweet" bars that pack a heavier punch than "Dark" ones. El Rey's Gran Saman illustrates a classic example compared to the label's "weightier" Apamate.

Ditto Agostoni's Bittra with this Regina. Though this weighs in at 61% versus Bittra's 60%, the difference & then some is composed of fat, approximately 5 or so extra percentage "pounds" of cocoa butter in favor of Regina. Basically a Sumo wrestler to a Ultimate Cage fighter. Otherwise they're virtually the same seed blend & composition.

That differential translates into rounder flavor as the butter psychologically sweetens the contours while reducing their amplitude (notably the vanilla). It simultaneously helps to fix the flavor compounds while carrying them forward for greater overall length.

A well treated blend of some bulk-grade cocoa in the mix provides foundational stability, ably surrounded by a few with some pedigree too.

No 'wow factors', just 'hmmm... not bad for an industrial-sized unit'.

Reviewed May 9, 2012


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