by Shunsuke Saugusa
Info Details
Country Japan   
Type Semi-Dark   (66%)
Strain Hybrid   (T Clonal Series)
Source Vietnam   
Flavor Crossover   
Style Mainstream      
Bushido stands for the ‘way of the warrior’ -- a code of conduct governing the Japanese samurai class. Along with self-discipline, honor, & austerity, the code emphasized the samurai's obligation to his lord, which superseded even familial ties. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868 effectively ended feudalism & returned power to the emperor, the samurai's obligation of loyalty & sacrifice shifted, becoming the basis for the cult of emperor worship.

The way in which Shunsuke Saugusa exacts flavor in this deftly calibrated 66% bar rivals bushido… dedicated solely to chocolate.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: sugared light
Surface: flakes, chips, & dust
Temper: bright without blinding
Snap: lilting
Aroma   8.3 / 10
alive & dynamic
muddy (Mekong) delta foliage right after the onset of the dry season
Mouthfeel   13.6 / 15
Texture: terrific spread & coat...
Melt: … into gelée
Flavor   46.8 / 50
cashews inflected to milkish chocolate (vanilla & caramel included)… -> candy element (longan) rimmed in a sour Starburst® fringe centered around guava -> citric-caramel roll (real fine), almost salted too (double fine) + a spice -spike (triple fine) -> riverine / sea vegetable moment furnishes some exquisite savory -> nut-jelly gel
Quality   18.1 / 20
66% cacáo-content relatively low for Vietnam which suppresses its heady, intoxicating spice-censers, & curbs in this bar its acidity. No worries, Shunsuke Saugusa still conveys a very distinguished chocolate, both for this origin & beyond...

Tastes of taking the middle route in the roaster & the conche, shaping the distinct outcome via the sugar variable.


Given Vietnam's unique cacáo stock, & in the studious hands of a Japanese barsmith, it all feels so easy… deceptively easy.

A bar of quiet, undulating wows 'n flutters.

Reviewed July 28, 2015


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