Ecuador 85%

by Mānoa
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (85%; Batch 60-12/13)
Strain CCN-51   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Crossover   (Naked x Earthen)
Style Old School      (Flavor rather than Technique)
Dead over Diapers (the headline read)... & strung out on ‘loids (tabloids, that is). Apparently a $20 loan developed into a deadly FB feud over the payback for some diapers. The story goes that "The world lost an angel for $20," sobbed the victim’s distraught mother just hours after a knife plunged into her daughter's chest at the hand of a murderous “friend”. Instead of debtors prison, she’ll be on death row.

Will chocolate ever garner those kind of headlines? Probably not; & neither will this man-crush of a chocolate (mostly for people who prefer things masculine).

A good bar nonetheless that equalizes the pressure from within & without to prevent being squashed (by disappointment) or being blown apart (by euphoria).
Appearance   3.7 / 5
Color: dark magenta
Surface: tiny pores among heavy brushing
Temper: uneven: due to plastic wrapper transfer
Snap: sizable for such a thin pour
Aroma   7.1 / 10
Reese's Pieces® surrounded by 3-Ts (tea, tobacco & tannery leather) -> brined herbs (combination fermented tang + salinity, the latter a bit unusual for Ecuador)
Mouthfeel   12.9 / 15
Texture: smooth, turgid paste
Melt: everlast
Flavor   43 / 50
instant chocolate bang right away -> Hershey's Kiss with that fringe of cocoa powder & tannic underbite until... cocoa butter melts-in & directs the action to a briefly sweet then under-ripe banana -> goes green / mossy / leguminous herbs (signature Ecuador) with some potted soiling -> climbs down the vine & degenerates to dirtier 'srooms, spores, fungi -> peanut & bitter gentian root for the aftermath
Quality   15.7 / 20
An allotment plagued by moisture issues, basically a re-up of Mindo's 77%. Thus it lacks the sparkle of, say, deBondt's 90% Ecuador. Surprising that Mānoa elects a low sugar ratio of 15%; then again such a dull canvas leaves little for sugar to catalyze.

This bar still welcomes, however, with well controlled flavor that challenges the palate without getting out of hand. Cocoa butter, & lots of it, sees to that.

Excellent chocolate wave on the front lip, the bitter undertow quite tolerable as butter keeps it more or less in check. And good bitters at that -- no over roasted char or poorly fermented harshness (indeed the astringency level is virtually non-existent).

Plain taste, nothing special on the tongue or any 'wow' other than solid craft that saves this bean in a rescue & recovery mission to make a very approachable 85% from a much abused origin.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed 12, 2012


Pin It on Pinterest