70% Dark

by Theo & Philo
Info Details
Country Philippines   
Type Dark   (70%; Lot #12D70DX)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Philippines   (Davao, Mindanao)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Mainstream      
Introducing Theo & Philo (T&P) -- the first refers presumably to Theobroma cacáo; the second to Philo, a Filipino who founded this chocolate company.

T&P sources cacáo from Davoa & sugar from Bacolod & then processes everything in-country. Until Philo came along to become the first boutique barsmith from The Philippines, artisan chocolate here lay buried in a cematery of neglect & abandon. In so doing he delivers a rebirth of sorts in a land where cacáo has truly historical roots & emancipates it in driving home this point (with a nod to Lincoln at Gettysburg) of T&P's motto: By the Philippines, For the Philippines, Of the Philippines.

Luckily, a devoted C-spotter smuggled some of this out so the world could share in a civil peace where chocolate once again is more than a bar; namely, that the exchange of it fosters good relations among humanity, harmony with nature, quickens the mind, opens the heart, & unifies people / planet / profits.

And by that very act itself becomes self-cultivation... i.e., 'the way of cacáo'.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
Color: Darth dark
Surface: nothing glamorous, just simply well groomed & softly brushed
Temper: thin veneer
Snap: tight
Aroma   7.9 / 10
strong roast to the point of pork grinds over burning rubber & smoked tobacco... threatens to torch an unmistakable tropical fruit basket (mangosteen, pineapple & mabolo yielding to grape) -> recessed spices (vanilla & cinnamon) -> aerates light melon
Mouthfeel   11.2 / 15
Texture: tough with some grain
Melt: powderful
Flavor   40.4 / 50
grilled cocoa -> back plantain, then banana -> sorghum-sweetened tapioca -> darkens to a mild bitter -> trace cadboard nicely covered over by vanilla -> faint grape & pili nut -> coffee down the hatch -> mangosteen & raisin linger in the after-math
Quality   14.6 / 20
A bar that shadows Askinosie's Davao but in a less intensified way. Both pretty much max out a humble seed lot. Each out-crafts the origin in their own manner (unless the beans on these islands are more than they're cracked up to be).

Plain & rather uneventful. Fruits in the Aroma never materialize except in the after-linger. Bears shades of bulk Central American cacáo treated to an espresso-level roast by Slitti. Yes, a general roasted character pervades throughout to produce a fairly strong if obscure CQ (Chocolate Quotient or baseline cocoa flavor free of much nuance).

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla; CBS (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): 8 / 7 / 5

Reviewed October 17, 2012


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