Duo 'n Madagascar

by Palette de Bine
Info Details
Country Canada   
Type Dark   
Strain Blend   
Source (Madagascar; Trinidad / Ecuador)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Neo-Modern      
Sadly, huge swathes of humanity continue to choose devolution, residing in caves of tribalism. The race caves over here. The caves of religion over there. Nationalism this way. Politics that way. And, of course, the largest of all: the gender caves.

The good news: there’s a cave for everyone on planet Earth (except for white male privilege because the entire galaxy is their playpen).

With just a handful of bar drops to date, Christine Blais of Palette de Bine (PdB) already poses a legit threat to rival Cecilia Tessieri at Amedei for Alpha Female in the premium choc space.

Let’s extend the honors farther… Canada, PdB’s home country, already boasts 3 world-class barsmiths (the other two: Soma & DC Duby/Wild Sweets) -- about as many as the USA (Patric, Rogue, Fruition), with a tenth of the population. Pretty impressive.

Realizing that North America’s best nowadays matches Europe’s – long considered the masters of the craft -- & the rest of the globe for that matter, it all points up to Christine rising as a trans-tribal talent.

Ahhh, finally, one people under the cacáo tree / the spiritus mundi, free from the caves. In chocolate we must.

A Chocolate Daily Double –- 2 reviews in 1. The overall rating & metrics (upper right) reflect a composite average of each bar's individual measures.
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: Madagascar: burnt orange
Duo: purpling magenta
Surface: designer-level
Temper: laminated
Snap: power tools
Aroma   8.3 / 10
so damn typical for the origin & more… an extraordinary cedar plank + a ylang uptake

an Amedei-worthy goop raisin countered by streamline yeasts & tobac (a microcosm of these dual origins: the starter cultures of Camino Verde & the grassy Trinidad) -> flints up scintillating spices
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: on the stiff side; vulcanized rubber
Melt: lengthy
Flavor   46.3 / 50
dry, tannic load-in with dried fruit to suit (cranberry / apricot)-> grows richer on a heady mix of mushrooms / wood / spices (chanterelle / cedar / vetiver) -> earlier volatiles acidify into fresh cranberries & pineapple… now super vibrant / dynamic -> raspberry splashes into dry gin (so very Madagascar -- just terrific) -> essential neroli-filbert oil for a coda

definite raisin against that sanded-yeast board called Camino -> barley malted cocoa -> spice twist -> chicory-molasses -> tingling cigar tobacco -> fine sandstone -> fudges out
Quality   17.8 / 20
Meticulous on the surface; intricate beneath it.

None of the tags in & of themselves all that remarkable but the ensemble so rife / ripe with so many undercutting complexities to re-open the eyes or dilate the taste-buds, as it were, after having reviewed well over a 100+ bars from Madagascar to think that none could possibly come around to standout & astound anymore.

Well, almost none but this one.

Limited chocolate-chocolate per se yet with plenty of bottom end (especially the wooded tannins) it neither misses nor hardly notices it. Yeah, about as limited as Palette de Bine (PdB) distribution so this becomes a Madagascar worth searching for.

Trinidad meets Ecuador, the traditional, some still foot-polished cacáos of Gran Couva & the manipulated fermentation menu of Camino Verde (CV).

Bit of an unlikely pair on the face of it. Neither really enhances the other, nor compromise one another too adversely either. Relative strengths favor CV. For example it buries Gran Couva's citrus top. 'No harm /no foul' however as this duo by the finish integrates seamlessly, almost on unison harmonics.

Clearly PdB calibrates their respective force fields carefully.

Capsule Summary
Last year this site put everyone on notice that with just one release -- the single estate Gran Couva bar -- PdB was on the come up. These bars confirm it. Assiduous seed selection; sound blueprinting &, in the all critical area on matters of good taste, PdB delivers in spades.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed March 19, 2015


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