Criollo Limited Edition

by Madre
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Criollo   
Source Hawai'i USA   (Kokoleka; Healani Orchards)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   (vanilla)
Style Classic      
The entire reactive chain of chocolate spans from 'cacáo hunters' at the source (a term possibly coined on this site to describe intrepid hounds on the prowl for the finer Theobroma cacao trees sporting a wild colorful array of pods bearing fearsome seeds) to 'tongue hunters' (definitely a term coined by this site depicting a finished bar crafted from those seeds that seek out hungry human taste-buds faster than a laser-guided missile).

Usually these pertain to 2 separate ordeals, undertaken by separate agents.

Madre combines the pursuits into one joint venture here -- selecting some of the best Hawai'i has on tap in its home base & refining it into, arguably, the best bar in the label's ever expanding portfolio.
Appearance   4.7 / 5
Color: rose cream
Surface: slight concavity on the airside; generally solid
Temper: flat
Snap: champion sonics
Aroma   8.4 / 10
pure fine-caramel expressed as candy or roasted Milk Choc to the blind-folded
thin paper + lead No. 2 pencil shavings
Mouthfeel   12.6 / 15
Texture: frags at the start, gradually melds & melts for a...
Melt: … considerable duration with medium body
Flavor   45 / 50
Milk Choc bite -> abiu (vanilla caramel + cream) -> nuts (macs + kukui) -> soft woods, lightly smoked (including bamboo, sandal & guava wood) -> basal cocoa with mild lava undertow to darken the countenance -> sweet coconut meat -> brief atemoya -> trace spice 'n starch (nutmeg 'n poi / taro)
Quality   16.1 / 20
Madre would lose any sense of self-identity without its pronounced seasonings. In this bar that role falls to whole vanilla added with & as a relish. Quite in excess of what this delicate cultivar needs.

No denying the pedigree however, evident especially in this bar's Structure. Some identifiable Criollo in this cocoa's bones.

Then that taste: the real deal.

Given that DNA & the applied vanilla makeup, the submerged hedonics manage to outlast if not quite cut thru in the vein of another indiscretion with some considerable Criollo germplasm -- El Rey's San Joaquin.

Inherently a Semi-Dark, even at 70%, except for the formulation whose spice additive darkens the countenance.

While judicious use of vanilla has a place & purpose in chocolate making, Madre may well be wise in including some... just at a lower level. Otherwise, why utilize this genetic jewel if practically hidden under a cloak? That smacks of vandalizing treasured relics.

That aside, a limited edition to demonstrate genuine honing of craft from seed selection to refining. Overall, a steady step forward & upward for the label.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla

Reviewed May 27, 2014


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