Gran Blanco

by Barsmiths™ Chocolate
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (75%; Batch 19)
Strain Nacional   (probable)
Source Peru   (Piura river basin; Co-op Norandino)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Neo-Modern      (processing)
The Aroma (below) vents up to the pinnacle of chocolate imperfection. A gold standard of inferior barsmithing that gives off the impression of something assembled at gunpoint.

Flavor mercifully dispels the dread.

Despite the slings & slights this label has suffered with previous releases, Barsmiths™ stays on it with an Edison-tested persistence: "I've not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Very polished. A special occasion bar that will be sure to impress company. Especially if they see the receipt that speaks of someone in the 1%.
Appearance   4.7 / 5
Color: darker than blanco (so named for its roughly 40% white seed count) with a li'l blushing cream
Surface: perfect front; molten back
Temper: hand-slabbed & excellent
Snap: hi-gauge bullet
Aroma   7.9 / 10
salt peter / gun powder 'n smoke directly off the steel barrel
oozes not blood but heavy sap that leads to canned fruit syrup
Mouthfeel   13.3 / 15
Texture: soft foam
Melt: takes a time-out
Flavor   45.8 / 50
jumps off coffee arabica, pungent yet sweet -> resin-sap sweetner streams to treacle levels (a very common trait among northern Peruvian cacáos in the last couple harvests probably due to limited rainfall) -> bromeliad citrus exciter -> drips down into espresso -> walnut -> tantalizing cream at the final meltdown heralds cherimoya (so fine / refined)
Quality   18 / 20
Customized roast over 2 batches & blended together in this single bar. Moreover, Barsmiths™ also conches separately & only mixes the two for the last 8-hour shift, a degree of detailing practically unheard of with such rudimentary equipment.

The first roast, quite intense, generates that espresso-level shot at the front which draws all the way thru the second trimester of the progression. Some may object to it as too strident but it stays exceedingly clean & clear in its exposition. The rather steep roasting curve tops out at 285ºF for almost a half-hour prior to 64 hours conching. The second, lower & shorter along a more sloping curve, tends more toward citrus (at perceptual levels well above the 1.2% measured analytics on the seed in the lab), aided by just 48 hours in the conch cycle.

Both sides of this chocolate's composite flavor show what a quality cacáo Gran Blanco is… the self-same that won Amedei the gold at the Academy of Chocolate in 2012.

Barsmithing nearing its finest frontier.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed May 22, 2014


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