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Somia; Pichanaki Milk; Chuao

by Hotel Chocolat
Info Details
Country UK   
Type Dark   
Strain Amazon   (+ Criollo + Hybrid +...)
Source Peru   (Venezuela; Madagascar)
Flavor Crossover   
Style New School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
The ancients noted that depressives dwell on the past, the anxious always project into the future, & those at peace live in the present.

Chocolate, by dint of its halting melt, entrains to be 'of the moment, in the moment'.

A trio of bars from Hotel Chocolat that serve as both anti-depressants & anti-anxtiety prescriptions.

Enjoy a peaceful stay.
Appearance   4.7 / 5
Color: poly-purple (even the usually orange-tinged Madagascan)
Surface: wood plank / slab tongue shape
Temper: internalized
Snap: uplifting
Aroma   7.6 / 10
Chuao
very cocoa dusty & wet doggy

Pichanaki Milk
black milk / black orchid / black cacáo
airs out tobacco

Somia
another inhabitant of the much lower realms of darkness
quite unusual for the pop-tart origin of Madagascar
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: follows in line with the Temper….
Melt: …. a little taut, therefore lasting
Flavor   47 / 50
Chuao
malted-chocolate straight out of a wood-burning oven -> purpling sweetness gradually comes fore in stages... to a blueberry florescence backed by star anise -> chocolate-blueberry pie (gorgeous)

Pichanaki Milk
dark & deep Milk Choc -> clay -> terra-apricot-ricotta -> cocoa butter cream teasing of White Chocolate -> more bourbon than burgundy, either / or the oak pokes thru… balsam of Peru too -> roasted & mentholated herbal greens at the very back

Somia
caramelized lantana, grilled artichoke, & chocolate (unusually good) -> moss -> burls & burlap, a little off-putting -> filbert & peanut -> flitters around some citrus, lands on a mandarin-marula marmalade -> sweet pineapple -> coconut shell -> flash cream flood -> unctuous hazelnut oil -> peach + a camphor end
Quality   18.3 / 20
Chuao
Chuao; Aragua; Venezuela
70% cacáo-content
2012 Harvest; Lot no. 14227
Calm, almost sedate Chuao. Relatively spare / pared for the origin. But, oh, what depths & definition in its streamline countenance.
The Aroma plays a poor impostor to suspect that this might be another faux-Chuao trying to pass it self off as the venerable varietal & cash in on its rep. Flavor however verifies the identity: Chuao to the bone.
Not since Pralus has anyone cooked up such chocolate blueberry pie in a bar. Notch some of that up to a low 'n slow roast (~250ºF for 40 minutes) & a Coppeneur-level conche job of 72 hours -- durations almost unheard of today when everybody in the new vogue wants out ASAP, employing models of efficient throughput to maximize revenues.
The Grand Chuao Suite at Hotel Chocolat ("HC").
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, lecithin

Pichanaki Milk
Pichanaqui; Chanchamayo Province, Junín; Peru
75% cacáo-content; 13% sugar
2012 Harvest; Lot no. 14263
35 minute roast at 282ºF / 139ºC; 45 hour conche
HC's unsweetened Pichanaki 100% animated by sugar & milk. Even so, a super haute percentage for the Dark-Milk category surpassed only by the likes of Mayan Dark or maybe Bernachon's Jour et Nuit and Hotel's own Rabot 70%.
Heavy but never ponderous, the dairy sublimated into the couch of the cocoa to galvanize rather than gentrify.
Exceptional. One of HC's best ever to ascend into the pantheon of Milk Chocolates.
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, full milk powder, skim milk powder, lecithin

Somia
Somia Estate; Ambanja; Madagascar
72% cacáo-content
2012 Harvest; Lot no. 14241
35 minute roast at 282ºF / 139ºC; 45 hour conche
A minority view on this island's cacáo but equally engaging. No super high brassy berries. Instead HC hosts a more horizontal spread largely explained by a considerable roast (35 minutes at 257ºF). Then to preserve some volatiles, it shortens the conche some to 45 hours. This results in a fair balance: what it sacrifices in height it compensates for with range… all the way to & including some possible mold / storage issues (those fabric touches in the middle).
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Capsule Summary
3 ordinary scents; 3 extraordinary tastes.

Reviewed May 26, 2015

  

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