Porcelana 85%
Whisky Nibs 70%
Marañón Milk 60%

by The Chocolate Tree
Info Details
Country Scotland   
Type Brut   (+ Flavored; + Dark-Milk)
Strain Porcelana   (Nacional)
Source Venezuela   (+ Peru)
Flavor Crossover   
Style New School      
Things sux.
The world’s a mess.
Life’s a bitch, then death ba ba ba...
All that according to the mediasphere.
Gratitude nonetheless, for it could be worse.
Or at least that’s what the brain-washing McMindfulness industry instructs.

Ditto ego dissolution preached by the biggest egos on the planet.

Mindfulness. It’s everywhere today. So pervasive that author Ron Purser considers it a neo-liberal conspiracy.

McMindful because capitalism absorbs all in its wake. Turning / churning even radical innovative disruptors into a brand & every action into a product at FirstNameLastName dot com. Just minding / mining one’s own business.

Yoga mats. Meditation apps. Holy crap, Colin Kapernick doin’ that. Oh no, Greta Thunberg & Naomi Klein, please, please, please.

In every economic system (be it socialism, capitalism, communism, follow the money (usually to the freest tax-evading haven). In spirituality, follow the habits.

Aristotle noted that quality is not an act but a habit. Gandhi expounded that habits become values become destiny.

Ahhhh, destiny our common destination…

Hi-quality from The Chocolate Tree in Scotland. As reported by that chocolate-melting whisky-swilling C-spotter -- Rev. Ron DMC (for Doctor of Meditational Chocolate). Her book, Deep Tasting: Chocolate & Whiskey, set the standard for such pairing.

In other words, Rev. Ron DMC doesn’t mind. This assignment. One bit / nib / swig.
Appearance   5 / 5
Packaging wows with impressive tessellation design, vibrant colors & each bar has its own South American animal motifs
Color: Porcelana 85%: naturally dark porcelain
Whisky Nibs 70% and Marañón Milk: dark milk brown with red cast
Surface: smooth (but for expected Nib bumps in the Whisky bar)
Temper: meticulous
Snap: sharp & clean
Aroma   8.9 / 10
Porcelana 85%
flash fudge
buried volatiles

Whisky Nibs 70%
divine peat -> backbone of tobacco + Marañón guava twang

Marañón Milk
cinnamon straight from the strength of a spice bazaar + caramelized sandalwood
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: Porcelana 85%: reluctant
Whisky Nibs 70%: Nib crunch satisfies save for some annoying particles
Marañón Milk: dense
Melt: Porcelana 85%: smoove
Whisky Nibs 70%: even pull away from the Nibs
Marañón Milk: takes its time, better take yours
Flavor   46 / 50
Porcelana 85%
Alastair & crew at The Chocolate Tree (TCT) go above & beyond, issuing a Porcelana at a rare 85% cacáo-content! Lots of roast notes... nut, spice underbelly, whispering coffee. Nothing delicate here. Who knows if it was ever or never there in this harvest or lost in the roast. Just as who knows what’s coming out of Venezuela (from whence this Porcelana cocoa grows) other than refugees these days.
Likable all the same. Begins bitter -> roasted nutshells - > roasted spices -> coffee ghosting all over -> leaves very satisfying “hot cocoa” finish

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Whisky Nibs 70%
Crazy for peated Scotch? The aroma alone in this bar will drive spirit-tenders off their nostrils & out of their minds flailing in nirvanic XTC as the observer observing the observed ends up to be the self. Alastair Gower went about boozing these nibs in a different way than most, hence the bolder-than-usual flavoring. Still, no need for a designated driver. No alcohol buzz here. Just crunch & flavor. Marañón cacáo a compatible backdrop (& marked upgrade of this label's erstwhile Marañón) as the blend balance favors whisky, which in turn bolsters this cacao's CQ (core basal Chocolate Quotient). Added bonus: lush design features a feast for the eyes.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa Nibs (10%), whisky (6%)

Marañón Milk
Intriguing comparisons to Fruition's Dark Milk Marañon 68%. 2 consummate barsmiths handling the same varietal in a similar Dark-Milk format. Divergence emerges on the cacáo-content (8% less here) & FlavProfile (less upfront twang here).:
caramel -> spice -> cream -> back kick of guava toward middle -> citric finish

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, milk powder, sugar, cocoa butter

Quality   18.2 / 20
Love it or grieve (for being recalcitrant & unable to love it).

Only a Scot confident enough to wear a skirt (i.e. kilt) would have the cajones (no, not a Gaelic term) to take such an outside-the-box(ers) approach displayed in these bars.

Yeah, Alastair might have a Chocolate Tree growing up his.

Reviewed October 17, 2019


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