San Martin 75%; Vegan Milk Chocolate

by Vintage Plantations
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (+ Milk Chocolates)
Strain Amazon   
Source Peru   (San Martin)
Flavor Naked   (+ Spices/Herbs)
Style Mainstream      (+ New School)
A Chocolate Daily Double –- 2 reviews in 1. Overall rating & metrics (upper right) reflect a composite average of each bar's individual measures.


If the French stand as craft chocolate's forefathers (Bonnat, Morin, Valrhona, Bernachon, Cluizel, Pralus), then Pierrick Chouard of Vintage Plantations ("VP") belongs to the 1st generation of latter day barsmiths along with Mack Gianluca Domori Franzoni, Steve De Vries, Robert Steinberg & John Scharffenberger. Pioneers all.

Over the years Pierrick bounced around some, particularly in Ecuador where sourcing truly premium cacáos during the 90s & the Naughts challenged even the most venturesome. Mercifully, the situation continues to improve there incrementally. Ditto San Martin well across the border in Peru, IF the buyer discerns between the rarer more native varieties from the ever encroaching CCN onslaught which, like in its home country of Ecuador, proliferates due to perceived productivity gains.

Good spadework.
Appearance   4.3 / 5
Color: correct to type
Surface: 2-faced Jovian -- solid printing (San Martin) vs. battle-scarred (Vegan Milk)
Temper: burnished
Snap: consonant
Aroma   9 / 10
San Martin 75%
behind the impregnable fortress of a mylar wrapper wafts the heavy breath of marshmallow, cotton candy & tannic chocolate thunder

Vegan Milk Chocolate
butter, vanilla-oak, caramelized malt, tapioca -- all commingling together
practically no clue of milk substitute
Mouthfeel   11.8 / 15
Texture: fatty waxed
Melt: latent
Flavor   43.6 / 50
San Martin 75%
fortified chocolate in fine wood grain (mahogany / oak), sweet Raisinette® underside -> hickory wood chips, trace lighter fluid (evocative more than actuated) -> hickory nut -> cocoa-marshmallow close-out

Vegan Milk Chocolate
loads in Tootsie Roll® -> dilutes pretty rapidly into caramel-lite -> vanilla-rice -> starts to descend into a fat blob but the butter, buffed in rice polishings & a wholesome cinnamon (nice), buoy it -> cuts off with the sweetest segments of the Aromatics above (uncanny)
Quality   15.9 / 20
San Martin 75%
A decent San Martin. Neither much evolution nor any real spikes. Relatively constant / steadfast from wire-to-wire. Narrow ranging… seed lot + the roast negate the peripherals.
This aligns with a couple other recent vintages from VP that deliver fairly straightforward chocolate without any real bells & embellishments.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Vegan Milk Chocolate
In a survey of the world that spans just about every conceivable type from ass-milk to ziegenmilch, both mammal & vegan, this though the first rice-milk chocolate to enter The Census.
And a revelation at that.
Unlike soy, rice at least here melds quite well, other than the Textural bulge, to galvanize heretofore some unusually rare tags.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, rice milk, lecithin

Reviewed April 1, 2015


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