by Malagos
Info Details
Country Philippines   
Type Semi-Dark   (65%; Batch 03 005)
Strain Blend   
Source Philippines   (Davao)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Mainstream      
REDUX REVIEW -- below are segments of Malagos 65%, initially reviewed in 2013, followed by its 100% sib in 2015 The rating & metrics (upper right) represent a composite average of both.

When The Philippines were reclaimed by Allies at the end of WWII, an army officer or two hid in the dense jungle & refused to surrender. One remained there for 29 years, dismissing attempts to convince him of the war's end as just a ploy.

For anyone still in hiding: time to wake up, come out, & smell the chocolate. All's peaceful now (more or less). And maybe because of it, The Philippines are back on the cacáo map starting in earnest with this bar.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
Color: poly-chrome... browned purple-rouge
Surface: exacting mold print with sub-surface bubbles under a broad-brushed airside
Temper: confident
Snap: callow
Aroma   7.3 / 10
candied flowers rolled in cocoa dust

muscular for a semisweet
the Marlboro Man, very vanilla-driven, riding atop hard leather saddle with tobacco in the side bags over muddy turf
Mouthfeel   12.3 / 15
Texture: 100%: paste
65%: some granularity
Melt: 100%: thick coat
65%: goes to gel
Flavor   44.1 / 50
sets up tapioca -> vanilla -> fleeting flower -> & then the bite comes on -- bitter Earth (the good Earth variety) but pretty heavy & even harsh in parts -> trace acidity tries to apply the clamps… to little avail, the combine however produces a savory spot as well as a hard mineral

brown sugar 'n vanilla -> brown fruit -- sweet tamarind & monk fruit (luo han guo) -> soft marshmallow-mango -> florals (the obvious vanilla orchid, valerian, + whaling-waling orchid [Euanthe sanderiana], the last also grown on the estate) -> straight cacáo pulp -> pili nut fraction -> vanilla re-takes the progression thru bignay blackberry -> the melonic akebia -> cloying cocoa syrup
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract; Barithmetics (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): ~5:8:7
Quality   15.5 / 20
Another in-country play: a value-added chocolate crafted with cacáo planted, produced, processed & packaged in The Philippines.

Similar to Eric Reid of SPAGnVOLA in The D.R., Rex Puentespina, CEO of Malagos in The Philippines, also partners with Mars Cocoa Development to harvest a bevy of cacáo hybrids sporting automotive model names like UF 18, BR 25 & PBC 123 -- just a small clinical taste of the burgeoning types that now dominate the field. The vast majority bred for productivity rather than flavor.

Over one-third sugar content in the 65% bar, coupled with potent vanilla additive, serve as a foil for this cacáo's quality, enough to ask whether Mars & other huge firms can come around & get onboard the growing interest in hi-grade flavor traits.

The answer: well... maybe they already have.

While both orchards -- in the D.R. & in The Philippines -- attempt to operate in a modernized conscientious way, this one clearly the more endowed of the two, perhaps due, oddly, to the terroir here trumping the specific genotype there.

Startling range in fact, if only superficial depth.

Unquestionably too sweet; the structure could well tolerate 8 to 12 points greater cacáo-content which should be plumb in its sweetspot but require a magnitude of skill that might be awaiting development in this company. Any count above that, as the 100% unsweetened baking chocolate infers, would be too strident as an eating bar.

Still, Malagos shows more promise than any other contemporary in-country to date -- only the Davao of Askinosie in the USA, though less selective, exceeds it in the straight unflavored category -- in reviving the historic place where Filipino cacáo once gloried in.

A Dr. Feel-Good kind of chocolate that invites distant comparisons to another wuvable bean-that-could: Grenada Chocolate Company's 60%.

Reviewed September 13, 2013 (65%) & July 27, 2015 (100%)


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