Box Chocolate Review

William Curley

Info Details
Country UK   (London)
Style New School      
British #1 on his better days but unlike the guy who disappointed legions of fans cheering on from Henman Hill at Wimbledon, this money player can actually take a grand slam. Trite comparisons to Bentleys are too ground-level & planar. This rises to the level of meta-chocolate.

Cacáo’s often cited as the fuel of the gods & these little chocolate-cells power up the craft for propulsion & supersonic altitude that break the sound barrier with deep ‘ooo’s & ‘ahhhhhs’, bellowing moans & groans, flying off at Mach 5 to make it the Concorde of boxed chocolate. They bring the thunder & lightening. Sure to produce a belly-ache from laughing so heartily & happily about what's going down in the tummy’s bend & curvatures... welcome to your stomach... Curley's own private joy division, punching the gut with body blows. One of the Baddddest boxers on the planet - bar none.
Presentation   4.7 / 5
masculine security: corporate brown w/ a vulnerable cream-coral ribbon ala that vulture capitalist donning his power pinstripe suit & light-fuchsia shirt; tucked inside to what amts to cigar boxes, a very handsome collection of good if individuated fit & finish (precious little precise molds or enrobing); that slight fragility in color extends to diminutive-sized pieces themselves as a few razor-thin shells popped their lids, prying off, pressurized in transit while being shipped, showing that the combo of hand-dipped bottoms & machine molded-lids translates into a grey area whether this maker has fully gotten his hands yet.
Aromas   5 / 5
busts then blows the nose off; box merely a decanter for huge olfactory plumes of chocolate filling the room in aromatic waves as if an aerosol fan is switched on inside, cocoa vapor so thick it becomes part of the scenery & its headwind can be tasted in the air (& it's quite good already); provocatively pungent & perfumed dark-tones closer up on the reveal - top notes balsamic, black fruit & tertiary garden action, all conspiring into a heady amber musk; aspiring chocolatiers & over-hyped sensationalists out there take note: this is the way it's supposed to be
Textures/Melt   8.2 / 10
Shells: great snap on the coverture w/ good juxtaposition on the ganache; random shell thickness (overall medium-thin; wafer-width on top w/ .5mm+ on the sides, & thicker 1mm or so pool on bottom)
Centers: some silky sheets of ultra-fluid meltdowns (running close to an even 1:1 ratio); others tooth-friendly Botox'd gelé-implants
Flavor   47.6 / 50
supple equilibrium, except for rare cases, that favor infusions (exhibiting unreal forward restraint) though great weight of bold & sometimes biting chocolate never far behind (& often overtakes in the last stage - an A-B rather than the classical A-B-A format) even as the grander total gestalt of the flavor lightens its load & surmounts it
Quality   28.9 / 30
Nothing exceptionable & mostly exceptional. A line that's quite reaching yet maintains & keeps it in the pocket. Among the very finest of the flavor-forward class & the best showcase to date featuring Amedei couverture in the boxed chocolate category; better than, dare say, the very brother 'n sister tag team that develops it in Tuscany.
Couverture: Amedei
Amedei Chuao - gold-tipped mold; as expected, this down-climbs the colossal as the addition of cream ganache galvanizes the molasses/licorice components in the original, sparing just the lightest uper-register fruit residuals (the plum transmuted toward pomegranate) along its path to a super-concentrated power-chocolate finish; XXXcellent, such as it it
Raspberry & Toscano - gelé fruit texture plays off the full-bodied Amedei Toscano; the tart opposite the darkly-serious, paired up in heightened scale in a kind of royale chocolate as the familiar becomes somewhat strange again, the traditional practically original, the norm realized in a nearly unimaginable way - a neo-noir/rouge - &, given the texture, blends up a sort of Pulp Fiction, w/ Mia Wallace & Vinnie Vega sitting at Jack Rabbit Slim's 50's diner talking about uncomfortable silences: "That's when you know you've found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute & comfortably enjoy the silence..." but this tart keeps on w/ the yak... hit it, Wittgenstein: 'aspects hidden because of their familiarity'
House Dark Truffle - dusted batons of pastry butter & croissant flakes on the inhale; ultra-unctuous, butter all over it like suntan lotion; really a butter infused w/ cocoa rather than vice versa making for a virtue in its own right - the extremely heavy (in terms of weight) gossamer light (speaking of flavor, save for the enduring tannic reminders at the back)
Truffle Framboise - adorable fuzzy bud shape & scent right off the forest floor which belies a fresh-picked berry jam on the palate, just off the bush perhaps in the last half-hour or so; another instance of cocoa going along for the ride until its presence creates the illusion of black raspberry; sensational
Blackcurrant & Juniper Berry - another gelé supreme; sharp Vitamin C level acidity from the currant cut by the spiced pine cone accents of juniper w/ its own inherent citrus that compounds the FX of completely acidifying cacáo to the point of nullification... save for the very tail end; overstated
Thyme & Scottish Honey - honeycomb cream patiently makes an herbal bath w/ slight butterscotching in which savory thyme blends so well it passes motionlessly, as does chocolate, there but marked by embalming the senses unaware; dexterous & deft plus courageous in its restraint
Apricot & Wasabi - softer gliding gelé but similar to the others where the contrastive couverture collapses all around the firm textured center; wasabi employed less to bring the heat & more as a warming plate to stew the 2 drupes (apricot & cacáo) in the upper palate which form a horizontal continuum of etherealized flavor
Japanese Black Vinegar - subtle mellowed notch made from rice vinegar & possibly streaked w/ sake; gently reverberating Milk Choc-like tannins at the back; all of it earthen in the way a bamboo tea house sits in the forest yet above it
Sichuan Pepper - not in the pepper family but does belong to the aromatic flavor family... generally used as a savory precursor to whatever follows its lemon headnote, in this case here, draws out an anise-inflected chocolate w/ a sprig of mint at the base to fuse up a complex-city, to some degree the most manifold of the collection, a lemon grass cocoa w/ Sichuan's tell-tale numbness
Pistachio & Toscano - mealy marzipanned texture & taste; sophisticated because simplicity, according to Leonardo da Vinci, is the ultimate sophistication
Toasted Sesame - similar appeal & feel on the tongue to the House Dark Truffle except the oils of sesame drive deeper & richer into the chocolate cave to open the treasure for the likes of Ali Baba & you among the 40 thieves
Fleur de Sel Vanilla - salt so delicate (never acrid) it has the micro-crunch of a praliné (the fact this piece also contains nuts contributes too) yet full of minerals surrounding the vanilla orchid, the 2 turning over in the softest Milk Choc bed of the set; extra-ordinary
Sea Salt Caramel - a thick snapping shell (virtually annealed) bites into caramel sauce of soft viscosity w/ no pull on the teeth whatsoever but a flavor that just rips it down Broadway; massive fun on the tongue & a fitting starter or finale

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