Info Details
Country France   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%)
Strain Chuao   (Criollo +)
Source Venezuela   (Aragua; Chuao Valley)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Classic      
So great that the trees, from whose seeds transformed into this chocolate offspring, weep with pride.
Appearance   4.1 / 5
Color: browned vermillion cream
Surface: schlub-city/ smudgetown
Temper: fear & cheer (sullen with a ray of hope)
Snap: heavy breaker; striated edge
Aroma   8.2 / 10
cacáo verde: green picholine olive in brine + green tea & tobacco leaf
vanilla rising
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: shatters like its Snap (above)
Melt: self-destructs into chewing gum
Flavor   48.7 / 50
rocks out a sweet confluence of blueberry + cocoa + wood, all streaming in unison -> tannins soften, giving way to huge fruit spot (a massive raspberry) -> buttered wax tempers the fruit to strawberry -> citrus tang (pink grapefruit) clarifies white citrus for the longest (cocoplum & white currant) -> vanilla-caramel bend at the end with a faint licorice twist -> hazelnut aft-length -> oops, no quit... tobacco entrails
Quality   19.3 / 20
All over the map... geographically & figuratively.

What flies the flags of Costa Rica in the Aroma, Trini (as in genuine Trinidad Trinitario with that bubblytude front fruit-explosion best memorialized, perhaps, in Coppeneur's capsule of the island) followed-on by Madagascan-like citrus / berries, then ends up in Ghana Texture territory -- seriously, it feels & flavors up a super-blend -- all of which goes to the power, depth & range of... Chuao.

Incredible. Inimitable. In this game of 'Spin the Globe', Morin turns palettes & psyches into bobble-heads. So disorienting & simultaneously liberating that it frees the olfactory sense from single-origin tethers & elevates chocolate into an artistic medium.

A transglobal phenom in testament that Chuao is everyone, everywhere. Big size too... XL.

The tell-tale give-aways of course: the intrinsic vanilla plume to the Aromatics, & the blueberry blast at the start of the Flavor proper.

People who think Chuao isn't all it's cracked up to be or, conversely, can't get any better than its Amedei heyday, here's reason to go back & revisit the sanctuary after the recent spate of very good to mediocre bars emanating from this singular source.

And those who never tried Chuao before & will never, barring time-travel, taste its past glories, they now can experience the bygone era via 'prestolgia' (a portmanteau combining 'present' & 'nostalgia' to capture the emotion of an experience happening at this very moment).

Before getting too carried away, let's concede that with such greatness comes imperfections.

Waxy Texture always a factor with Morin. Lecithin doing no favors as its hydrophilic properties suck out all the moisture, to the detriment of overall tactile sensation.

That aside, Morin employs added cocoa butter to tremendous benefit. It modulates the chemical compounds into hitherto unseen pockets of this cacáo principality (tobacco-citrus? OK, maybe the Mast Bros' sub-fermented Chuao but theirs failed to materialize much sweetness along the spectrum).

Any residual bitters & astringency, modest at most, receive a massage from that cocoa butter, then subsumed onward in the progression for flavor development / enhancement, yet crystalized in hi-def; a demo that butter both fixes & forwards the flavors.

Morin crafts a spectacular feat of engineering & proof positive that, to the chagrin of neo-Spartans, added butter in some instances merits a place in chocolate bar formulations.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Reviewed December 20, 2012


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