Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (a very Dark 75%; Batch 07020912)
Strain ICS   (+ UF; CATIE Hybrids)
Source Nicaragua   (Matagalpa; La Dalla; Finca Rogelio Pineda)
Flavor Naked   (backed by Spices / Herbs)
Style Old School      
The team at Nova Monda -- which introduced "spoon chocolate" & some outstanding bean-nuggets to the the craft scene -- now rolls out with this: its first bar launch. A surefire sign that Nova intends to cover it all in chocolate, humility notwithstanding, while issuing this declaration as a question: Do you understand that understanding chocolate is impossible?

They do.

Exhbit 'A' -- this chocolate bar of 'liquid smoke'.

Appearance   3.2 / 5
Color: pitch brown with deep purple
Surface: smudged; release mark; micro-voids in the mold corners; nascent bloom; other than that...
Temper: ... splotchy
Snap: hollow plunk
Aroma   8 / 10
very Central American, & closer to Costa Rica than geography alone: big green olive (hence the "Green Label"?) escorted by coconut shells & leather -> flickering Snickers® (vanilla / peanut, the by-product of considerable roast) over some cocoa backbone -> spice flint (Mexican pepperleaf & Mexican tarragon... damn this bar's all over the continent)
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: light bodied
Melt: medium fast scamper; hydrolyzes into liquid smoke (see Flavor below)
Flavor   40.6 / 50
pure unbridled chocolate -> soon it wraps around orange-red fruit (mamey sapote), but only briefly, as some wood bark (Gliricidia sepium aka madre de cacao / madre negro / blackwood) crushes it to ignite tobacco + a fleck of ash & the cocoa smoke house opens up -> steps to whitish FXs (pitaya / dragon fruit), a pre-cursor of some stringency -> spice Aromatics show at the rear recesses -> parting shot on plain cocoa
Quality   15.8 / 20
A thumper.

Opening bite almost rivals Duffy's Indio Rojo from neighboring Honduras. But thin Texture & generally shallow if robust Flavor fail to reach & dig deep into the roots of cacáo / chocolate.

High roasting sacrifices some of that depth, & mid-conching leaves several volatiles intact (as detectable astringency).

Nonetheless, Nova Monda Green is undeniable & indelible.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar; CBS (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): ~3:3:2

Reviewed November 13, 2012


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