Sur del Lago

by A. Morin
Info Details
Country France   
Type Dark   (+ cocoa powder)
Strain Amazon   (+ Sur del Lago)
Source Peru   (+ Venezuela)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Classic      
A bar & a beverage made from the self-same genetic stock / raw material.

The most natural pair: close relatives. (Any closer & this would be incest.)

Put 'em together, alternating between sips & bites, & get to really / intimately know your cocoa.
Appearance   4.3 / 5
Color: Chanchamayo:
Cocoa Powder -- sunset orange-pink
Chocolate Bar -- indistinguished

Sur del Lago:
Cocoa Powder -- biege
Chocolate Bar -- off-white
Surface: Cocoa Powders -- fine dust
Chocolate Bars -- travel weary
Temper: Cocoa Powders -- cosmetic makeup powder quality
Chocolate Bars -- jet lagged
Snap: Cocoa Powders -- n/a
Chocolate Bars -- tough going
Aroma   9 / 10
Chanchamayo (Peru; Junín Province)
Cocoa Powder:
Dry -- acrid cocoa -> mango tang -> banana plume
Wet -- more grounded... subsoiled... with a respectable cocoa head + a mere smear of mango'd fruit

Noir Chocolate Bar:
faithfully contains the forest from whence it came... woods / foliage / groundswell sums up a citrus-nut spread with herbal green side -> aerates honey dew

Sur del Lago (Venezuela; Zulia Province; Lake Maracaibo)
Cocoa Powder:
Dry -- true to the origin... so mild for a powder... scintillating in its subtlety... soft biting esters -> macs & blanched almonds
Wet -- nut-milk cocoa (specifically macadamia nut)

Blanc Chocolate Bar:
more than a straw or two, a haystack + so much Mac-ness (as in macadamia) -> add soft crocus (saffron) into clean cream
whew, gorgeous
Mouthfeel   12.8 / 15
Texture: on point if, for the liquids that is, a little thin (just add half 'n half)
Melt: prolapse satisfaction on the bars (despite A. Morin abandoning lecithin)
Flavor   46.9 / 50
Cocoa Powder:
Dry -- tracks the Aromatics, including a near-bitter insurrection, before digging into some clean dirt, fine topsoil mushroom patch -> green fruit;
Wet -- bitter cocoa, quite straight, minor stringent grip, & deeply interlined however subtle fruit acid
INGREDIENTS: cocoa powder (defatted to 11%)

Noir Chocolate Bar:
cream 'n sugar hold the woods at bay for a fruit entrée (starts on naranjilla, then pineapple, & finally pink grapefruit), really sweet, holds constant until a slow buildup of cocoa-truffle, coffee berry, & the re-emergence of milk & honey -> almond-hazelnut finish
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

At 63% cocoa-content Morin deftly bumps up the sugar ratios to better express the volatile acids in this cacáo for all those citrus rings in the middle progression bathed in cream. A sturdy semisweet bar & revealing sib to Morin's earlier iteration of this origin calibrated at 70%.

Sur del Lago
Cocoa Powder:
Dry -- nuts on parade + hay & so dry to take the breath away -> add in gentle cocoa tones + a recessed anise
Good enough on its own, as in who needs liquids -- whether water or steamed milk or further processing for a chocolate bar
Wet -- beautiful latencies yet defined... fab plums, deep tannic (benign black bitter) vein, & nut-cream seams
INGREDIENTS: cocoa powder (defatted to 11%)

Blanc Chocolate Bar:
buttercream frosting -> subtle caramel! -> hay & saffron -> egg cream -> super fine / super thin wooden veneer -> distant vanilla-lemon drop -> ghosted cocoa
So true, if White Chocolate can be so construed. No doctoring gimmicks. Inviting without cloying, the latter the norm for most Whites.
Quality   18.7 / 20
Once more, A. Morin excels. High caliber on all fronts. Exemplified by the White Chocolate -- typically sickly sweet, overly sentimental flavorings or, the opposite, bland putty. Here Morin seemingly extracts compounds from cocoa butter for tinctured resonance. Taste buds tingle before dancing on their own heads.

the C-spot™, (in)famous for geeking technical on specs & parameters, best shut the mouth & let the cacáo / cocoa / chocolate do the chocplaining.

On Noah's Ark or in the Svalbard Vault, someone please reserve a place for Franck Morin. Many thanks.

Reviewed February 28, 2019


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