Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (85%)
Strain Blend   
Source Hawai'i USA   (Kauai; Wainiha Valley; Kilauea)
Flavor Earthen   
Style New School      (as in unrealized before)
The maker behind this chocolate -- Koa Kahili -- considers this his fav bar; his personal nanea (pronounced nah-nay-ah, Hawaiian for 'fascinating, beautiful, enjoyable, relaxing'). That encapsulates quite a bit.

De gustibus non est disputandum (no disputing taste)... whether his or this.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
Color: lightest 85% ever -- sand
Surface: rough hewn
Temper: flat
Snap: squabbles
Aroma   8.4 / 10
precariously perched
smoked pork over wood -> sunshine, photosynthesis, sea water & minerals -> very light pale ale
quite elemental yet a push 'n pull in the blend of ferments between short (beer) vs. a longer one (the hammy fraction) almost at loggerheads with itself
Mouthfeel   13 / 15
Texture: untempered blubber; minute grain
Melt: viscous thick
Flavor   47.1 / 50
swirls right in like mocha latte -> cream in full stream (vanilla ice-cream specifically) -> back bark (a bitter of only minor bite) -> big banana + trace strawberry guava -> cocoa-chicory mudpie -> volcanic topsoil of the good Earth variety
Quality   17.6 / 20
Low range but hi-def.

Koa draws from 3 distinct terroirs in this all-Hawai'i chocolate, his own Criollo among them (which creates those cream tones). Technically a blend though qualifies as 'single-origin' on most scorecards (just as in the reverse most 'single origins' are also blends in actuality), it ironically conveys precious little sense of Hawaiian flora. Coffee points predominate which can come from just about anywhere around the cocoa belt. Still, the fineness of that coffee accent sets this apart. And as a whole it easily surpasses the quality of Nanea's other bars for its most accomplished chocolate to date.

The café here so pronounced yet, like Kona, tender; & the cream of such clarity that taken altogether it rivals the great masterpieces which include those ingredients as additives. As such, this trumps them in a tour de force.

Reviewed April 1, 2013


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