Info Details
Country St. Lucia   
Type Dark   (72%; borderline Brut)
Strain Blend   
Source St. Lucia   (Rabot Estate +)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Rustic      
Flagship bar from a relative upstart on an island most chocolatarians never heard of, except maybe from the poetry of the majestic Derek Walcott. Steers awfully close to dangerously veering off-course & right into the vent of St. Lucia's drive-thru volcano at Sulphur Springs. No harm done... but no harmony either.
Appearance   4.8 / 5
a slat of wood-sign design, the kind posted throughout Nat'l Parks along forest trails
Color: the HC bar-smiths describe it bang-on: deep mahogany
Surface: un-scored, brushed plate
Temper: oily gloss (all that butter)
Snap: soft collapse (lo-tempered); exceedingly clean & even darker-colored edge
Aroma   8 / 10
simple & subdued: alluring reference-pt chocolate (which eventually aerates coffee) surrounds the central theme of all this - campfire wood... w/ the possibility of papaya; banana leaf on the rubdown
Mouthfeel   13.2 / 15
Texture: tremendous soft cacáo butter involvement (foretold in the snap); full-bodied, smooth fudge-cream of a conche supreme (mid-length 50 or so hours)
Melt: even flow & distribution
Flavor   36.3 / 50
comes out swinging a plank of strident pine -> minatory fudge cocoa mercifully curls into sweet molasses -> black olive -> passing mango/papaya underlined w/ coffee -> dark choc singed on the edges -> charcoal -> melts thru to cream & a dim Milk Choc illusion rekindling hope of fruit in the residual ashes; thickly resinous volcanic-mocha syrup the aft-taste
Quality   15.6 / 20
Stoutly tannic rather than outright bitter per se. Still, a brute strength of almost no guile with too little simultaneous contrast, except for that fleeting fruit & flirtation with Milk Choc - the vestiges of Criollo. The pedigree is there, buried beneath many hybrids from 52 scattered plots isolated in pockets all over the island & brought together in this uber-blend at Hotel Chocolat's own all-inclusive resort for farmers on St. Lucia at Rabot Estate. It all creates for a series of minimalist transitions, as micro-modulated as a Phil Glass piece. HC would do well to clean up the batch, identify then concentrate on the heirloom varietals while discarding harsher Calabacillo types.

As is, with no vanilla, the onus is on the roast & the all-too-often tendency - committed again here - to scorch the beans in order to equalize them.

ING: mass, butter sugar (no vanilla or lecithin); CBS ~1:2:1


Pin It on Pinterest