Tobago Estate
2015 Harvests:
January & April

by Pralus
Info Details
Country France   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Trinitario   (TSH 919; 1076; 1188; 1300 Series)
Source Tobago   (Roxborough; Tobago Cocoa Estate W.I. Ltd.)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (x Naked)
Style Classic      
Fresh on the heels of his separate Winter & Spring Productions from last year, Duane Dove of Tobago Estate kindly forwards the 2015 seasonal harvests, lending more proof how Flavor-shifts in chocolate can pivot with the slightest breeze (& cultivar selection of course).
Appearance   3.7 / 5
Color: pantones polychrome (although the April Harvest a little less so)
Surface: weary
Temper: opaque by Pralus standards
Snap: lower frequencies but sharp
Aroma   8.7 / 10
January Harvest
intensely concentrated
stewed dry fruits in sweet sap & resin

April Harvest
more open, lighter, airier
Mouthfeel   13 / 15
Texture: chewy
Melt: drawn-out
Flavor   44.2 / 50
January Harvest
grape monster mainly in the guise of raisin -> strong cocoa underside with a hefty wood cut -> transforms into a Cabernet-molasses, heavy & dark on the palate, assuaged by butter-rum (terrific) -> softly falls asleep on rum toddy made with molasses -> tamarind in the aft-linger

April Harvest
toasted cocoa with butter -> gradual fig -> breadfruit -> biscuit -> dried fruit -> the sweeter side of thick molasses
Quality   17 / 20
Duane Dove, the proprietor of Tobago Estate writes, that rains were still heavy as the rainy season tapered off around the beginning of the year so sun-drying became a challenge in keeping both the seed count to Grade A quality & also within the correct moisture percentage limits. Obviously he & his colleagues prevailed!

Thru hard-earned experience & hard lessons learned they invested in a state-of-the-art moisture meter to eliminate the risk of mold & brittleness. That coupled with the rains holding off significantly this Spring led to much drier conditions + easier fermentation / sun-drying for the second production (April).

The results speak for themselves -- loudly.

January Harvest
Judging by taste alone without looking at the ABV, someone might think they could get drunk on this.
Pralus lightens up the roast (no charring as evidenced in past vintages) which paradoxically creates a heavier-set complex.

April Harvest
Less spectacular than January (above) / more congruent with itself.
Almost Venezuelan in its reserved countenance.
Mimics Tobago March 2014 to a high degree.

Closer in scope to each other than last year's twin bar set of differing harvests, as well as narrower range.
Sampling Tobago Estates since 2012 reveals a distinct, identifiable chocolate profile. Which points to a) this maker's mark & b) consistency.
Bravo, Duane Dove.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Reviewed July 1, 2015


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