Madagascar Sambirano

by Woodblock
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%; Batch #11)
Strain Blend   
Source Madagascar   (Sambirano Valley)
Flavor Twang   
Style Rustic      
By now even many kids in the candy store know that chocolate derives from the fruit of Theobroma cacao trees.

Charley Wheelblock of Woodblock Chocolate in Portland, OR must've read some Lincoln prior to handling this bar.

On Abe's advice -- Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree & I’ll spend the first 4 sharpening the axe -- Charley carefully calibrates Madagascan cacáo which can be piercing & unforgiving as nailing the tongue to a plank of knotty pine, & really hones his craft in dropping this one.
Appearance   4.1 / 5
Color: orange creamsicle
Surface: light brush
Temper: gauzy
Snap: an earful
Aroma   8.6 / 10
on-point for the origin
sticky citrus & pine resins (cones, apples, needles & bark)
Mouthfeel   12.5 / 15
Texture: con-glob-ulation
Melt: never really melts... just shrinks
Flavor   46.1 / 50
immediate acidulation -- ruby grapefruit -> minor caramelization along a stripped pine back while holding onto the citrus -> red deepens to apricot, then cranberry spray, & caramel turns over as vetiver in a cedar-rosewood box -> pineapple & baobab -> chocolate-coated silvers (quartz, silica, honeysuckle, & marula)
Quality   17.9 / 20
Lives up to this barsmith's name... warm, inviting & gorgeous woods.

Woodblock can be a maddening house. Erratic in its output, when 'on' it scales tremendous heights, inhabiting the tree tops of Theobroma cacáo.

This Madagascar joins Woodblock's D.R. and Balao as such climbers.

A strong interpretation of an oft-repeated source (along with Ecuador, more bars from Madagascar populate The Chocolate Census than any other) with a common-enough formula (70% cocoa mass / 30% sugar) but executed with aplomb to arrange a full-spectrum of Flavor (no mean feat for an island cacáo that usually suffers some deficiency in that department). Technical issues that downgrade some Woodblock bars help create a bottom for an otherwise top-heavy type. All at a dense concentration which never vaporizes, as often the case with Madagascans, into alcoholic impressions (particularly gin).


INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed September 20, 2013


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