Various Bars

by Benoit Nihant
Info Details
Country Belgium   
Type Dark   (74%; 72%; Nibs)
Strain Blend   
Source (Venezuela; Cuba; Indonesia)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Neo-Modern      
Beneficent Nihilism in parts (Chuao; see below) & an emerging Benoit Nihant in others (especially the Bali) as this upstart gathers his chocolate legs.

The following details a Chocolate Bar Blast – in this case 4 reviews in 1. For the sake of publishing efficiency, they’re consolidated into this single review. The overall rating & metrics (upper right) reflect a composite average of each bar's individual measures.
Appearance   3.9 / 5
Color: strange metallic gold / bronze
Surface: airside grease splatter, sub-bubbling, & wales
Temper: neutral
Snap: brittle as a dead branch
Aroma   8.1 / 10
Venezuela Chuao 74%
overpowering powder room full of perfume
myrrh / slippery elm / cistus / cotton bulbs / bee pollen… verging on musty / fusty
way off-character for the cultivar

Cuba Baracoa 74%
delights in a smoked chocolate-fig

Seed: nary a whiff of vinegar / acetic acid (thanks to pre-peeling), just huge teak & big banana minus any "green banana" FXs that cocoa gurus swap in for poorly fermented astringent beans, but here all sweet, ripe banana; beautiful; NOTE -- these seeds come directly from the grower rather than Nihant

72%: palm oil & smoldering rubber
Mouthfeel   10.8 / 15
Texture: rubber chunking & powder chunks
Melt: disaggregation
Flavor   42.2 / 50
Venezuela Chuao 74%
direct transfer of the Aromatics melts into some malty / moldy collision -> dried yeast -> sweetens into a cream-fleshed wild mangosteen

Cuba Baracoa 74%
another clear exposition from the scent to the taste, add delicate herb (tobacco leaf) & spice (big intrinsic vanilla)

Seed: -- incredibly light all the way around for a seed… fleeting fruit (rambutan & champaca) -> gentle cocoa -> mild coconut -> soft woods in the clearing (linden & bamboo)
72% -- red fruit flint (bignay berry) -> caramel -> burnt rubber turns the countenance dirty without abandoning the antecedents over a long, slow concourse including a "white-out" of some monk fruit [luo han guo]) -> passing lemon grass & mango
Quality   15.6 / 20
Venezuela Chuao 74% (Lot 0006)
Aroma tips this suspect off. None of the big buxom hallmarks found in the venerable origin. If truly indeed Chuao, then that peninsular paradise is sinking faster than the Venezuelan bolívar currency these days. Let's hope & pray instead that this impostor presents some ID theft &/or Nihant damaged the authentic article beyond recognition, perhaps with an accomplice…. such as Ducasse. Either way, anyone who crosses paths with it, please alert Interpol.

Cuba Baracoa 74% (Lot 0006)
Nice, comfort bar if passive & a bit weak with cocoa butter softening both the flavor tags & the tactile contours.

Seed: -- from Frederick Schilling & Ben Ripple's Big Tree property. High quality starting with the the semi-jumbo sized seed selection to the hyper clean prep & end flavor. Exceptional grade perfect for snacking on (zero bitterness). Absolutely deserving of its own separate review.

72% (Lot 0005)
Such a promising start dashed…. but momentarily… as the hopeful beginning thrusts thru the length to outlast that intermediary gulch. Obviously mechanically-dried -- the smoked trait almost murders the bar like so many a PNG except it stays just on this side of forgiveness, experiencing a series of mini rebirths along the route.

The cocoa utilized in this bar is technically discrete from Big Tree Estate though Ben & Frederick take a hand in seed selection of Sukrama Brothers' cacáo, first gleaned in Åkesson's bar.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter (for Bali Seed just the whole seed)

Reviewed February 6, 2015


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