Papua New Guinea 70%

by Omnom
Info Details
Country Iceland   
Type Dark   (bleak 70%; Batch 062)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Papua New Guinea   
Flavor Crossover   
Style Industrial      
Iceland (from where this bar is manufactured) & Papua New Guinea (the source of its cocoa therein) are strangely symmetrical in their idiosyncratic natures.

One located in the North Atlantic; the other in the South Pacific.

Each defends a brooding turf of alien landscapes filled with volcanos & fiercely independent denizens.

Neither represent just a country — they embody a mood, a waking dream or nightmare depending on POV, an alternate realm of cliffs & thickets & flammable peat moss, storm-tossed oceans stretching away under a sky of the sublime & the shiver in the face of monumental otherworldliness. Unruly yet organized. Hell, their respective thermal hot springs probably connect somewhere along that proverbial hole drilled thru the Earth from diametric points across the globe.

Little wonder they'd sooner or later come together in a bizarre bar.
Appearance   4.3 / 5
Color: deepest magenta
Surface: broad brush strokes
Temper: an ace of faces
Snap: plugged up
Aroma   5.5 / 10
smoking waste product in a landfill or rather, closer to its home base, the breeding ground for megapodes whose females bury their eggs around PNG in massive nest-mounds of decaying matter that males then tend
smeared with a cocoa-nuts overlay
eventually wheezes acids from the ass of a jackass
Mouthfeel   12.7 / 15
Texture: the unremarkable -- in a good way -- part of the voyage
Melt: longer than desired
Flavor   35.2 / 50
goes off black raisin -> low cocoa -> the anise seed-like Pinus patula, then burned vanilla -> acidic noni -> diminishing returns set in on torched Brazil nut skins & copra shells -> weak coffee-substittue -> the subacid wampi fruit but dirtier -> grimy tannins -> synthetic rubber, petroleum-derived -> goop from the earlier raisin (the balsamic kewda [Pandanus odoratissimus]) & deterioration sets in permanently -> sour dirt -> plain mud -> dog hair -> dead peat -> stringent close
Quality   12 / 20
Promising start fails to sustain as Flavor progressively confirms woeful Aromatics.

Omnom, only the 2nd barsmith from Iceland to enter The Chocolate Census after Nói Síríus, clearly the victim of a sourcing error that it managed to avoid with Madagascar. The quality of cocoa between those 2 islands in Oceania can be quite dramatic.

That PNG defect, oft-repeated on this site, alas holds again (uncontrolled fire-drying of fermented cocoa), compounded here by some dirtier than usual chemicals.

For a startup barsmith to venture into PNG territory amounts to asking for trouble similar to tourists roaming around a seedy port city in some foreign godforsaken part of the world. Without a solid local guide / friend, they're bound to be taken down. Sho' 'nuff, Omnom gets mugged here.

Far from alone, others more experienced suffer the same mishap, or worse, on their trip to this island. If veterans need to tread cautiously, then first timers should just forget it until developing the prerequisite contacts for a successful haul.

As is, the liner notes read in the classic Jonatan Swift tradition in which one con deserves being passed off (unwittingly?) to another: "The sophisticated union of nutty leather and smoky tobacco plays with a whisper of burned oak tamed by a buttery bourbon finish". OK... s'pose gassed "oaken Bourbon vanilla" qualifies. Then too so would a lump of coal. In other words, walrus chum (click image upper right to enlarge). The kind of tripe that dupes the uninitiated (about 98% of the populous) but, c'mon now, with so many cocoa-doddle-gurus training their minions even nouveau-connoisseurs can spec this out (well, come to think of it, here's still hoping).

The more startling news from all this: the increased intensity with which the petrochemical-taint mars PNG's bounty in the last several years. Blame it on perhaps ever wetter weather or chalk it up to sheer carelessness. What once constituted a natural smoked characteristic now inflames a toxic dump begging for Greenpeace to intervene.

Wear a dental hazmat dam before ingesting. Better yet, abstain until the island changes its promiscuous ways.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed April 30, 2014


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