Heirloom Maunawili

by Mānoa
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (72%; Lot 306-2/16)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Hawai'i USA   (O'ahu; Maunawili)
Flavor Crossover   (Earthen x Fruits/Flowers)
Style Rustic      
Last summer the C-spot® featured Mānoa's Maunawili, pre-heirloom designation.

A year on & in some ways it's the same as it ever was… calling something thus -- in this case 'heirloom' -- doesn't necessarily change it (to say so is just the hubris of language).

But as Hawaiian surfer-musician Jack Johnson sings, the world keeps spinning with each new day & as the surface breaks, reflections shift.

In the process Mānoa upshifts. It ascends with the kind of chocolate to share, sing, & dance... to Mother Nature's symphony.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: Darth brown
Surface: nucleated by severe plastic wrapper burns...
Temper: … blinding so wear shades
Snap: sensational submarine collision
Aroma   8.8 / 10
black-licorice coral (rare) with a smoked-Cabernet underlay (rarer still)
powdered floral drift
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: subdivides some
Melt: a bit palsied
Flavor   47.4 / 50
black & blue chocolate fruits (both the berries named after those colors + plum) that make Hawai'i cacáo famous, even fabled, along with volcanic coral substrate, paradoxically nice & light -> betel with its smoked-tar tag -> delicate floral touches (pikake) powder-puff the edges -> inviting stringent swipe leads to caramelized bignay (a subacid black berry with mite bitter principle aftertaste & astringency) cuffed in the creaminess of abiu... into a splash-drop of bituminous coffee for the post-script (excellence)
Quality   18.2 / 20
An upgrade / update of Heirloom IV & the only commercially available bar (sort of) utilizing those cacáo seeds until the next harvest.

The allotment Mānoa received barely tipped the scales.

Where the bulk trade gobbles up shipment containers in the metric tons by the boatloads, the premium spot market feels lucky to move a few sacks per transaction -- a few hundred pounds -- the definition of the new era micro-processors in chocolate.

This bar re-defines micro-batch to its nano level.

Seriously… forget triple digit weight in pounds. In other words, an extremely limited edition production run. It renders additional aura to the cachet of Exclusive Reserve. So much so it becomes virtually impossible to obtain.

Prepped by crack fermenter Dan O'Doherty at the Maunawili Research Center whom HCP recognized with the Heirloom IV designation. No mean feat in Hawai'i's challenging climate for cacáo.

Maunawili, even at a barbell weight of dried cacao nuts, privileges Mānoa for an All-Hawaiian production. In exchange, the barsmith respects the cacao, handling it with consideration & care unprecedented for the label. Most notable: just a fraction of the astringency which attended the Heirloom IV entry. Plus a preferred formulation that bumps up the mass by 5%. They got this.

Thankfully Dylan & Tamara, the forces behind Mānoa, forwarded a sample to the C-spot® to report out to the growing minions of chololatarian hounds on the worldwide prowl for supreme good taste.

That fruit basket originally picked at Waialua -- which got the world rockin' to Hawai'i cacao back in The Naughts & contributed plantings to Maunawili -- gets jacked to further fruition here. Strafing fruits in fact caused by the lava-like chocolate flow in the undertow which tastes more roasted than actuality due to this origin's inbred volcanic nature.

Some esteemed colleagues / sensory specialists who sat in on the session demurred at first bite (prematurely & fallaciously btw), only to buckle under & eventually swoon over.

Other than Texture, a near rock solid structure that, like it's coral character, breathes & teems with life. Clearly Mānoa's best bar yet. Check that: the finest to come off these islands from anybody. The new exemplar for Hawai'i.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed August 11, 2014


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