Island Blend
Rabot Estate

by Hotel Chocolat
Info Details
Country UK   
Type Brut   (100% true brute; Lot #13080)
Strain Blend   (Hybrid)
Source St. Lucia   (Soufrière; Rabot Estate)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Old School      
In 2013 Hotel Chocolat issued its initial Saint Lucia 100% (below) utilizing cacáo pulled from various properties on the island. A couple years later it followed with another unsweetened 100% from the label's own cacáo orchard – Rabot -- a bar (also reviewed below) that delimits the Flavor Profile by focusing on a single-estate.

The overall rating & metrics pertain to the original
Island Blend only.

100% cocoa-content expels the bitterest-sweet fruit of all chocolate percentages. Nothing but the cacáo pod's natural sugar, broken down during the fermentation process into scant reducing sugars.

It symbolizes in some ways the well-chronicled if little-known history of chocolate & slavery. Saint Lucia experienced its own poignant part in it.

Around the Caribbean, that tragedy came in the wake of the precipitous collapse of aboriginal cultures -- just 50 years after Columbus' arrival -- a catastrophe with profound reverberations even to this day.

It colors, for instance, views & conceptions held by & on individuals, groups, genders, religions & races towards one another in everyday pedestrian encounters. Indeed these demarcations, divisions really, are big business. Ergo the media frenzy over them which then perpetuates cycles of prejudice & hatred.
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Appearance   4 / 5
Color: dark brown leaning toward purple
Surface: veneer woodcut mold
Temper: unvarnished
Snap: pure
Aroma   8.4 / 10
Island Blend
cocoa laminated in warm nut skins
tree sap / resins, including a little fermented residoo-doo which drops some tar
coconut hangs in the recesses

Rabot Estate
beautiful woodwork… chocolate woodlands really, with a subtle sour twist that approximates resin
Mouthfeel   13.1 / 15
Texture: heavy pasting
Melt: plods along
Flavor   44.8 / 50
Island Blend
deep cocoa loam -> soft bitter finger -> nut skins -> olive oil -> bitter black olive -> warms to roasted nuts & cocoplum kernels -> bitter metallic streak -> coursing black lava... all of the preceding offset by huge swells of avocado alternating with cocoa butter cream -> drives away on cacáo husks & old oak

Rabot Estate
solid chocolate entrance followed on by butter which precipates wax before the sour elements picked up in the Aromatics join a bitter insurrection… black 'n gray as a smoked gun barrel (pretty harsh)… yes, & where there's smoke there's fire lighting up tobacco -> topsoil-down worming into roots & spores
Quality   17.6 / 20
Island Blend

The 1st unsweetened from St. Lucia. Ranks right up there with Grenada Chocolate Co.'s brut 100 for daring because both islands can be tough, rugged, & unforgiving terrain for chocolate flavor.

Hotel Chocolat's ("HC") own liner notes ring true, especially the olive component. And while the label claims no added cocoa butter, this chocolate rounds up so distended that, if true, then these seeds contain enormous fat content on average, possibly in the upper 50s to even 60% lipids.

Either way, 100% cocoa MASSive... those butter triglycerides check all the wanton & violent compounds to more or less behave in a civil manner, without which they would've rent the tongue out. Ditto the long 'n strong roast (35 minutes at 275ºF which these seeds take very well) & the Coppeneur-level conche (120 hours which winds a sturdy crystallization of those lipid molecules). The latter rubs out almost all esters that starves this bar of acids; literally beating this bar into submission... without breaking it.

Together they jab the taste-buds with pointed flavor tags, mini-stings, & retreat before another micro-assault. Far greater assertion, conviction &, for better outcome, guile than HC's other recent 100 -- the Pichanaki from Peru.

A totemic 100.

Rabot Estate
Lot No. 15219; Harvest 2013; Roast 30 minutes @ 125ºC / 257ºF; Conche / Refining 120 hours

Other than the opening frame, a baker's bar rather than a straight eating one, even after a fairly extensive processing (see parameters in the line above) which speaks to the genetic traits of this estate.


INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass

Reviewed August 7, 2013 -- Island Blend; 2015 -- Rabot Estate


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