Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (72%)
Strain Blend   
Source (Venezuela; Trinidad; Madagascar)
Flavor Twang   
Style Classic      
Finisterra - Latin for "land's end". Far from going to the ends of the earth, Scharffen Berger pretty much stays close to home on this one, picking a selection of beans with which it's quite familiar, for this its 10th Anniversary Limited Series Blend.

Ever since being acquired by Hershey's in 2006, it has been playing with house money. It can afford to conjure up sailors who jump ship or jump the shark because this bar for the most part just nukes the fridge: unpolished from top-to-bottom of the barrel, perhaps as a throw-back to its earliest days in the crib, & in dire need of greater stability. To quote George S. Kaufman on on another form of transportation -- flying: “I like terra firma. The more firma, the less terra.”

At least as a gift for the occasion, founders John Scharffenberger & Robert Steinberg (R.I.P.) pledge to donate a portion of the bar's proceeds to cacáo non-profit organizations. Let's hope in the future they & others follow the lead of guiding lights like Shawn Askinosie whose 'stake-in-the-outcome' ethos does away with charity by directly paying cacáo farmers a supra-premium price instead.
Appearance   4.3 / 5
fading beauty
Color: lighter brown w/ shades of pumpkin & auburn
Surface: immaculate diamond-patterned crisscross
Temper: semi-gloss
Snap: very literal; perfect pitch - no wavering but a little bit of snarl gets you talking back
Aroma   7.3 / 10
dull & stale: Trinidad dominates (straw grass & dried green picholine) w/in a wood / grain framework (juniper / rice) -> citric cobwebs (lemon myrtle); musty allspice & tea on the rubdown; aerates mineral clay
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: light sticky frame
Melt: astringent grappler
Flavor   37.8 / 50
bolts out cranberry / ground cherry as Madagascar squares off against Venezuela (hallmarks of Sambirano vs. Cuyagua, w/ the latter also establishing most of the foundation while the former gets the upper hand) -> grousing grapefruit smoothes to kumquat-cum-pineapple... then lemon myrtle / grass as Trinidad makes its presence felt, all enveloped in stolid baseline cocoa running the length... which at 1st forms a promising parallel stack but core chocolate tannins randomize & become squirrelly over allspice, a micro-hint of black pepper & ginch-tea -> distills toward gin (trademark Madagascar) before dissolving in the fog of terra incognito
Quality   14.6 / 20
S-B overplays its signature light-handed touch & reverts back to its early days of Valrhonic tendencies, quite apposite considering this limited edition bar marks its 10th Anniversary. Similar to other power-blends released with great fanfare by the label (the unfairly maligned Kumasi-Sambirano or more aptly Antilles), this too has integration issues, exacerbated by an incomplete roast (a homage of ironic sorts considering that 'Finisterra' is associated with a place in western Spain where pagans & Christians made pilgrimages to the sun) – which results in tannins breaking down in mid-palate, becoming unstructured with a raw Pacari-like edge (S-B perhaps influenced by the raw-food invasion of its home turf around the Bay Area) - resulting in a meager body expressing too much brightness because it lacks the musculature to contend with & contain it.

ING: cocoa beans, sugar, cacáo butter, non-GMO soy lecithin, vanilla


Pin It on Pinterest