Box Chocolate Review

Chocolate Cartel

Info Details
Country USA   (Taos, NM)
Style Rustic      
Chocolate cowboys cornering the market in a barren chocolate zone just north (New Mexico) of south of the border (old Mexico - home to fabled cacáo groves shrouded in history). Apparently affected by that infamous ‘Taos hum’ which makes for some rugged & belligerently durable goods.
Presentation   5 / 5
gold-plated packaging to rival Godiva & make the Aztec proud
Aromas   4.2 / 5
earthen cocoa
Textures/Melt   7.1 / 10
Shells: crisp & clean
Centers: variable (depending on type – see below)
Flavor   33.6 / 50
scratchy, uneven line
Quality   19.4 / 30
Rough & tumble roll broken-up by a few smooth spots.
Couverture: El Rey
TRUFFLES – big western oversized hemispheres; great sheen; crisp clear snap on the shell; generally immature line w/ but a couple exceptions (Raspberry Rose; Coffee) Honeysuckle & Orange – White Choc playing host & ghost to uncured rinds; citrus splash, flash, & crash
Lavender & Vanilla – too buttered for a smooth lavender/cream clash
Jasmine & Papaya – illogic over-runneth w/ cocoa before a burnt forest roast at the back; a decent piece, just way different than advertised
Banana Cashew – ditto as the Jasmine/Papaya & confused by peppercorn; sign of the chef lost in his own kitchen?
Cinnamon – butter lightly spiced to no effect & nowhere
Pineapple & Coconut – industrial jam; scorched earth marmalade
Honey Roasted Hazelnut – give it up; cowboy concoction
Raspberry & Rose Petal – saving grace; strong Dark physically dancing w/ the red bloods of fruit & flower; ballroom moshing
Coffee – heavy-hand goes either well or unnoticed w/ 2 elements that can stand w/ or w/o each other: café & cacáo; hacienda raw

BARS – chocolate-plated beauty tags
Milk – heady tannin for Milk; very smooth & rich; mild honey gives into caramel backbone w/ earth tracers on the outskirts
Dark (73.5%) – gorgeous sienna mahagony; western intrigue – nut aroma, fresh sweet-fruit cocoa amplified w/ dried herb sachet; triple or quadruple richness & an improvement on E; Rey’s Apamate couverture

CHOCOLATE covered ALMONDS – desert dust-up; dry cocoa folded w/ faint pepper; staunch as the long trail up the Sierra Madre

COCOA MIX – thin-bodied & gritty texture but overall excellent; cinnamon aroma yields to almond-mead undercut by cocoa bitterness

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