Info Details
Country Vietnam   
Type Semi-Dark   (72%)
Strain Hybrid   (T Clonal Series)
Source Vietnam   (Dông Nai)
Flavor Naked   
Style Mainstream      

Who's there?


Nai? As in 'nay'.

Nay, 'nai'.

OK. And the wicked witch of the West is dead... ding-dong the witch is dead.

That's right, no one's there because Dông Nai ain't 'who' but 'where'... in Vietnam's monsoon country. A cacáo culled from the agro-forests around the primeval Cat Tien Nat'l Park.

Hồ Chí Minh reminded his nation that "a storm is the opportunity for the pine & the cypress to show their strength & stability."

He might've added cacáo to the list of trees too, seeing how this chocolate bar survives & thrives -- in the best surthrivalist sense -- thru some suboptimal conditions.

golden wonka for the inner foil
Appearance   4.1 / 5
Color: raven dark with purple hues on the edge of black
Surface: minor scratches & smudges
Temper: dim
Snap: pumped & ready (thick pour)
Aroma   7.8 / 10
equal parts of worrisome sandstone, pork grinds, leather & creosate over-ridden by some hopeful balsam & toasted bread crumbs
Mouthfeel   12.9 / 15
Texture: waxed up
Melt: a long & round dong
Flavor   46.7 / 50
Cocoa-Nut Cream Pie: dry cocoa dust, plain 'n simple, with a cream back -> graham cracker crust borrowed from those toasted crumbs in the Aromatics -> mite astringency leads to soft spices (cinnamon, the peppery-vanilla aroma of galangal &, moreover, Vietnamese coriander with its lemon-ness) -> clay -> cashew stemwinder -> roasted cocoa in the aft-burner amidst some recessed fruit (langsat)
Quality   17.4 / 20
Very tame & stable to the point of nearly monochromatic base chocolate. Almost no offset or fruited accents whatsoever; just the beautiful constancy of chocolate 'n cream. The hazily spiced narcotics found in Grand-Place's Dông Nai / Ben Tre blend do however eventually show here, & more distinctively at that, thanks to the absence of vanilla.

This bar reflects some post-harvest deficiencies. Slight under ferment of rather mild, though sweet, pulp creating very focused if less dynamic compounds. They permit Marou to apply a suitable roast commensurate on a relatively delicate cacáo type that lines them up right in the cross-hairs of core chocolate flavor exerting respectable punching power.

The whole package then subliminally sweetened by a generous added cocoa butter pad.

A really kind, full-bodied chocolate's chocolate.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed September 5, 2012


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