Box Chocolate Review

L'artisan du Chocolat

Info Details
Country UK   (London)
Style New School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
London calling but have no fear cuz the only thing that clashes here is proprietors Gerard Coleman & Ann Weyns of this decidedly British firm choosing a French name tag. Despite that Nancy Mitford-type move, they rock the box - & even sharif in Londonstan will want to drop these on the mosque.
Presentation   4.8 / 5
reserved class - just how the uppercrust likes to roll; the unmistakable message: AdC means business
Aromas   4.4 / 5
cocoa streaming out the box in engineered waves; a closer breath draws a windowsill garden of herbs & potpourri... fragile nosh-sized pieces, some rough edge on their finish & whose thin skin can flake off
Textures/Melt   8.6 / 10
Shells: thin-sided
Centers: soft w/ body; ~1.5 :: 1 ratio
Flavor   47.2 / 50
great animation; direct & vivid (true English rarely mince words; consonants quite pronounced w/ clarity) yet chocolate never far behind, almost always an essential part of the seamless equation (indeed, unprecedented levels of both infusions & chocolatarity save for a couple truffles of quieter study) creating nearly ideal mid-point between froward subtlety & flavor forward; most reviews on this house underestimate the impish fun to go along w/ the serious vein it has in spades (albeit understated)
Quality   28.6 / 30
On the New World side of the Atlantic, whenever spotting the words 'couture' & 'chocolat' together (or any type of faux French), it's best to run the other way. For example, the pretentious frou-frou at Vosges.

What difference does an ocean make? A world of difference.

A decade or so ago, English cuisine was a horror flick of fish 'n chips, or bangers & sumthin-er-other that locals swore had some kind of mysterious alimentary value. Times change. New Labor, new blood & the weightlessness of a lost empire liberates the kingdom of imagination. AdC has been called the RR of chocolate. That's debatable but it indisputably sits near or on the top branch of the English cacáo tree.

This speaks for itself - in volumes (sometimes it's important just to STFU & listen to the pros). In their own words: work from the heart; despotic about best ingredients; fanatical production methods; uncompromising quality.

AdC takes no prisoners & never surrenders, breaking the current mode via time-honored craft & pride in a world consumed by hyper-volume at warp speed.
Selections
Couverture: Valrhona, Cluizel, Opéra
Tonka - very cardamom/wattleseed-like excepting an extra bitter highlight that burns thru the profile w/o singeing it; feral-edged ending; extra excellent
Madagascar Dark - rockets red glare (cran + raspberry) cut by white ganache flares against dark choc backdrop for a berries 'n cream fireworks; honest & pronounced
Venezuela Dark - despite the tart pop at mid-palate, cream runs a little too much interference here, obfuscating rather than softening the tannins thru an astringent clearing
Lumi - Dark-on-Milk, the canvas of which never backs down to pervasively brilliant sun-dried Iranian limes possessing grassy verbena underside; a tremendous mullah-f#*ker of a piece
Tobacco (of the chewing variety) - another beguiling Dark-on-Milk starts life on vanilla caramel then tingle-tangles its way to a clever tarheel peppering the tongue (never fuming) like so many acupuncture pinpricks to, technically-speaking, kick-ass
Moroccan Mint - steeped a little hot & instantly lost in the reverie of mint julep tea in Djemaâ el Fna, wondering if that snake charmer really knows how to play it or will that cobra bite your tongue out; whew... fresh like that
Banana-Thyme - rare combo; the fruit of apes just got savory; King Kong will order crates of this stuff w/ his bow-tie on; each element joining the fusion while maintaining independence
Liquid Salted Caramel - little balls in a hard shell, splays open an oozy gun of flavor goo; like good sex, a salty-sweet mess of an affair
House Truffle light classic 70% endowed seemingly w/ that metallic hay of saffron & a firm nut-inflected cocoa back
Pavé - snapping shell w/ inner cherry tones; as advertised, the peacemaker between the Milk & Dark divide as both sides get layered
Marc de Champagne glassy grape coated in cocoa for butterscotch bubbles
Black Cardamom - cream-lathered though still incredibly deep & dark w/ resin at the back
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