Madagascar Milk 58%

by Pump Street
Info Details
Country UK   
Type Dark-Milk   (58%; Batch No. 4107)
Strain Criollo   (group)
Source Madagascar   (Ambanja)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Rustic      
A White-on-White-on-White-on-White phenom (quad-White for short -- milk, sugar, cocoa butter, & whitish cacáo seeds). Nonetheless lays down some dark impressions... as mysterious as the footprints which appeared around Devon, England, 1855.

In February of that year, the Devil, perhaps consumed with wanderlust, apparently took a long stroll across the countryside there, somewhat in the direction of Suffolk from where Pump St. operates. His outing might have passed unnoticed, except it was snowing heavily at the time.

When residents awoke, they found unusual cloven hoofprints all over the place — not just on the ground but also on obstacles like walls & even roofs.

Perchance the Prince of Darkness has returned & stepped on this bar. As chocoisseurs are wont to say, 'diabolically delicious'.
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: stunning rosewood
Surface: kissable
Temper: thin lacquer
Snap: clasped
Aroma   8.4 / 10
candied spice + butter (stuck between croissant flakes & whip cream) puffs up a rarity: pine, almost tart, caramel (a Madagascan specialty)
vanilla frosting tops it off diffusing juniper followed by a potpourri of brown spices
Mouthfeel   11.7 / 15
Texture: Wax Factor™
Melt: self-corrects over a lengthy course
Flavor   44 / 50
slow starter obstructed by waxen Texture
those Aromatic brown spices punch thru (vanilla, vetiver, & sandalwood) -> black mulberry / black toffee -> cream lightens some of the shadowy aspects into salted caramel (sensational) -> subliminal lime & lychee in a nod to this bar's Madagascan roots -> appends cocoa-juniper
Quality   15.3 / 20
Mediocre 1st half in every aspect (Texture, Flavor, & Structure); tremendous 2nd wind, virtually a Pump St. trait (yes, another late-closer with major relief from the bullpen toward the tail-end).

At 58%, both the heaviest & the duskiest Madagascar Dark-Milk yet, although Coppeneur Menavava Vollmilch at 52% with Nibs might equal or eclipse it. Other than Texture, they share common characteristics.

A bit of a surprise that so few barsmiths venture up this high percentage given the island cocoa's generally piercing nature that easily cuts thru. 60% or even 65% should still be identifiable as a Milk Chocolate.

The higher than average cacáo-percentage influenced no doubt by the anomaly of these particular Madagascan cacáo nuts. Pump Street's dairy-free Madagascar 75% harbors cream tones so adding milk naturally suits. The seed-lot more Criollo in its orientation rather than the customary admixture from the island that usually produces bright berry tones. Here the flavor subsides into the lower but deep reaches.

And remarkably, no vanilla employed… that which emerges does so intrinsically. Or via the devil himself.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder

Reviewed September 15, 2014


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