by Emerald Estate
Info Details
Country St. Lucia   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Blend   
Source St. Lucia   (Soufrière; Emerald Estate)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Old School      
Hotel Chocolat now has some friendly competition on St. Lucia.

Just as well. It's a small island & lots of people want a bite of it.

So once their rooms full of chocolate are all reserved, the concierge can recommend nearby Emerald Estate whose very own cacáo grove situates along the slopes overlooking the sea.

Emerald Estate Chocolate... book it.
Appearance   3.9 / 5
Color: stares into the abyss & the abyss stares back
Surface: nicked & stressed
Temper: shadowy
Snap: rock solid, bring a jackhammer
Aroma   7.3 / 10
fire & funk
volcanic sap -- mol-ashes (molasses + ash)
pulled pork beneath or duck which, as Frank Bruni acknowledges, approximates the chocolate of flesh
Mouthfeel   11.6 / 15
Texture: difficulty breathing between the powder & the dust
Melt: deceptively slow RPM for such granular structure
Flavor   44 / 50
cocoa syrup over sweet black yam -> honey & glucose conspire for candy corn -> teases tamarind before vanilla caramel onslaught -> molasses without the brooding thickness -> core volcanic chocolate (black magma cocoa -- excellent) -> those ham 'n duck Aromas resurface on the tongue as petrol & wood-burning chips to sully an otherwise sated expedition
Quality   15.4 / 20
Chef Allen Susser oversees the cacáo harvesting & cocoa processing for Emerald Estate Chocolate. 1,000 cacáo trees, some old-growth, dating back 3 generations on 30 acres. The crew recognizes 3 varieties that combine for a rainbow of pod colors.

Once split open, seeds inside those pods land in plastic buckets for a 4 or 5 day ferment (the lower duration suggestive of some possible pedigree in the lineage), after which they're sun-dried.

From there Allen applies the now-standard treatment of artisanal chocolate start-ups: the cottage gear from John "Chocolate Alchemist" Nanci (convection oven, Aether winnowers, then lets it rip for 36 to 48 hours in Santha's converted lentil grinder for "refining").

Due to the dearth of chocolate originating in St. Lucia, this post is as an exception to the C-spot®2 kewl 4 skool policy which counsels against reviewing new barsmiths before they learn the ropes.

None of the frenzy & swagger of Hotel Choc (so far). Perhaps that's still to come seeing how Emerald Estates markets some attractive packages for their core resort business.

For great chocolate requires talent, experience &, the most vital ingredient of all, time. Nonetheless this 70% presents a teachable bar that demos how the internet, choc shows, & barsmiths exchanging insights all combine to hasten the arrival of it.

Hither & yon, Emerald Estate 70% lavishes in its environs. A "natural roast", quite warm, stemming from the soil & the character of the terrain creates a clutch of black notes to a) turn sugars almost sickly sweet & b) raise concerns whether any teeth will still be pearly white after the meltdown.

No worries.

People who relish molasses in a bar instead of jar should appreciate it, except this acts with superior restraint. Some of the most measured, in fact, lava-fertilized chocolate around, in league with Grenada & Hawai'i (when done right).

Exceeds expectations & quite the auspices start for what augurs to be a player in the premium field.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed October 25, 2013


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