Box Chocolate Review

Christopher Elbow

Info Details
Country USA   (KC, MO)
Style Neo-Modern      
The Avis of American chocolate, #2... we try harder kind of stuff. Elbow connects to your chocolate bone all the way from Kansas City, MO. The Wizard of ooos & ahs. Dogs sniff & immediately reject anything cocoa because it kills them. But Toto would eat this stuff up like so many biscuits along the Yellow Brick Road.
Presentation   4.8 / 5
breath-taking; smart art set of mixed molds & enrobed pieces; basically Kandinsky & Calder in a box
Aromas   4.5 / 5
head strong w/ slight nod to chocolate
Textures/Melt   8.6 / 10
Shells: thin to mid skin
Centers: fantastic ganache architecture
Flavor   46.2 / 50
forward yet fleeting, then on to the next note in linear sequence, & all in the space of 1 bite; Elbow’s indelible signature: exceptional lingering finishes that always leave you cacao dominant, no matter what precedes it
Quality   28.7 / 30
Rising star with a unique hand on vertical integration & movement. This is New American muscle backed by European culinary skill.
Couverture: El Rey; Valrhona, Guittard; some Askinosie / Patric
Morello Cherry – brilliant chocolate-cherry-chocolate sequence w/ staying power
Exotic Fruits – passion citrus wash & bleach leaving little room for cocoa until feints at the finish
Spanish Saffron – creamy saffron sandwiched between bittersweet dark; a difficult favorite because of the taste to structure; excellent
French Lavender – rare, sparkling-gunship purple-grey patina; cosmetic strength herbal decoction that ever so gradually grows faint before lingering like a perennial; again, architecture wins out over flavor
Caramel with Fleur de Sel – simultaneously strong & seductive; pure taste sensation – shy caramel cut w/ salt; instant gratifier
Vietnamese Cinnamon – spice overshot until cacáo asserts balance at the tail; yet more remarkable movement & design architecture
Champagne – a bit of reverse inside-out role-play w/ chocolate dominant throughout except for a quiet champagne endpoint that never really bubbles up & over; an effervescent miss
Rosemary Caramel – rosemary’s for remembrance, caramel for stamina; taken together & Elbow destroys the course... White Chocolate shaped in a rainbow obelisk true to its elements but for shy rosemary that peep thru the salt caramel curtain at beginning & end times
Espresso Lemon – yes, you read it right; unusual pairing that goes down like… well, like real well... after getting over the shock & brace of discordant citric wash, then the clash of awakened café that eventually join together in an exotic trans-global fix; chocolate Ikea for the elite masses
Venezuelan Dark – Elbow’s palet d’or of sorts; cream-strong that nicely buttresses a florid Venezuela
Bourbon Pecan – Southern twist w/ crumbling core; eeeezzzz-y street
Single Malt – full distillery w/out the vapor treatment
Passion Fruit – full brassy bull-rush
Russian Tea – very black leaf, the darkest thing they’ve ever seen over there since Brother from Another Planet
Strawberry Balsamic – sounds vile until you try & it’s all smiles, including Elbow’s trademark: long cocoa-dominating finish

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