Box Chocolate Review


Info Details
Country USA   (Eugene, OR)
Style New School      
Several ways have been discovered to spell cacáo, from the Olmec ‘kakawa’ to Mayan ‘chokola’j’ but ‘kekau’ is unheard of – except phonetically, which is where it comes from. A lot of talent & novelty, innovative & reaching, perhaps too much so, that ramifies in confusion as acrobatic mixtures sometimes fail to work & instead fall apart, due in part to an over-reliance on Dark Chocolate exteriors / White or Milk Chocolate interiors which often cancel each other (& along with it, high expectations) in favor of infusions left stranded.
Presentation   4.8 / 5
wowed by the jewel-like quality - opalescent appliqué among a simple set of enrobed & molded pieces; major tonality, solid thru & true; so much weight from such diminutive pieces
Aromas   4.4 / 5
practically at equilibrium w/ a pervasive anise
Textures/Melt   8.4 / 10
Shells: semi-thin
Centers: soft - whether full-bodied or nearly liquid
Flavor   37.8 / 50
forward & elaborate... in fact, a little too much going on, often creating negative complexity
Quality   21.6 / 30
1st rate elements; work-in-progress; more conceptual than culinary at the moment
Couverture: Valrhona; Guittard; Callebaut; & Cacao Barry
Espresso Chai – milky soothe chai w/ espresso endnotes; warm & winsome as the front seat of NYC cab during morning rush hour when you can talk Starbucks, Sikhism & Sadhana Sargam w/ the driver
Basil Meyer Lemon – chocolate (both White & Dark) a mere ornamental conduit for clearly pronounced infusions mitered closely together w/out fusing ala ‘pesto bismal’
65% Sur del Lago – joined by L’Olivier French olive oil (characterized as ‘fruity’ by the maker) but w/ Guittard’s underachiever del Lago (forsaking fruits for nuts), coats overall contour in an heavy pine / walnut stain which nullifies any chocolate presence w/ a pasty, dull quality
70% São Tomé – a 2nd rendtion of the L’Olivier, this time set in the non-complexity of São Tomé; herbaceous & resinous occlusion w/ a similar, though less overbearing, staining-effect to the 65% Sur del Lago
Black Truffle Honey – a lot going on subliminally; hard shell / languid liquid center; honey the primary flavor, 72% Dark gives it width & juniper berry provides length; excellent
Thai Curry – soft top-notes of cilantro & coriander kick it w/ surprising heat but components never really settle
Grapefruit Rosemary - almost passion fruit brash, cut by an orange-like zest, until rosemary cream calms the acids; under development
Lavender Noire – all lavender; beautiful lavender-tinted coat; herbal thru & thru as, again, the Dark cover meets White cream center to cancelled effect; texture its saving grace – silk cream
Crimson Star – a lot of moving parts that come together flashing forward; Oregon Comice pear hit w/ star anise, vanilla & Poire Williams brandy in Java Milk Choc that works for a dessert piece
Spiced Berry - cinnamon shooting thru the shell, hyped as ‘Guayaquil’ but why bother mentioning it let alone wasting it when that Ecuadorian bean just gets bombarded by strawberry marmalade cut w/ black cardamom equalized in balsamic vinegar; wildly elaborate
Smoky Blue – Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese meets Vintage Plantation’s Ecuador Nacional; slightly sharp w/ antique tones of old fromage missing the sweet nuttiness typical of blues; enough smoke & cheese, however, to be an udder cigar that settles roughly on a rustic chocolate plank; one of the better versions yet of the recent wave in goat-cocoa fetishes
Habanero Tequila – starts out a freak show, turns into a brujo of heat & alcohol

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