100% Cacao

by Benoit Nihant
Info Details
Country Belgium   
Type Brut   (100%; Lot 0005)
Strain Blend   
Source Madagascar   (Sambirano Valley)
Flavor Crossover   (Twang x Earthen)
Style Mainstream      (thanks to cocoa butter)
Despite the daunting percentage, a mini-me-too
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: poly-chrome brown
Surface: beyond acceptable… exceptional
Temper: soft-brushed semi-gloss
Snap: clickable
Aroma   7.2 / 10
ferment tang (traditional to Madagascar), quickly blown off by some vegetal action (somewhat expected for 100% pod-strength chocolate), then overtaken by atypical leather, tea & most prominently, coconut shells (the latter the influence of add'l cocoa butter exerting itself)
alights sour cocoa

all in all, a MAD array (for Mutually Assured Destruction or Delectation)?
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: mini clumpules
Melt: choppy
Flavor   40.2 / 50
soiled cocoa... stays in the dirt for some length until light souring / minerals appear as backdrop salad dressing -> savors up a bit over some rising bitters -> medicinal-aspirin edge to the finale -> a little beef & bar-b-q sauce the aftermath
Quality   14.7 / 20
Pralus' 100 forms the standard-bearer for unsweetened Madagascars, & perhaps for unsweeteneds period. Truthfully, it has lost some of its bloom from vintages past, just another instance of how ratings & reviews & awards are highly ephemeral / perishable. They, alas, often last but a brief moment in time. No one should take them too seriously, nor with any certain permanence.

Nonetheless, this Madagascar 100 from fledgling Benoit Nihant just ranks, by comparison, as standard product. Nothing glam or gutted. A flag-waving, "yes, we can… too" type of bar, perhaps for no good reason other than he could & therefore does.

Butter both softens (none of the thick paste so customary for the percentage) & sweetens (psychologically speaking) an otherwise brutal load. Tempered well enough with it to evade an all out insurrection as Madagascar's volatiles can often flay the tongue off without sugar.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, cocoa butter

Reviewed December 11, 2013


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