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Nicaragua
Grass-fed Milk
Hazelnuts & Chocolate
Cranberry White
Strawberry White

by River-Sea
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (+ Flavored)
Strain Criollo   (+ Hybrids)
Source Vietnam   (Tanzania; Nicaragua)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Rustic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
The smorgas-awards season for chocolate, & food generally, is over. Congrats to the winner of this year's category for Best Chocolate Nutella-style Spread that Doubles as Suntan Lotion + SPF 30 Sunblock.

The interruptus allows for a shift in attention to those who toil away far from the (s)limelight & such (mal)practices.

Exemplar: River-Sea Chocolates. Off the beaten path yet well on their way.
Appearance   4.1 / 5
Color: Nicaragua: ruby brown
Grass-fed Milk Chocolate: uh, uh, uh... spend thousands on that Caribbean vacay & the tan still won't look this gorgeous
Hazelnuts & Chocolate: filbert
Cranberry White Chocolate: pink sunburn
Strawberry White Chocolate: "lemerald" (lemon-lime)
Surface: picture perfect
Temper: confident
Snap: Nicaragua: and Grass-fed Milk Chocolate: resistent
Hazelnuts & Chocolate: limp
White Chocolates: not as much as a chuff
Aroma   9 / 10
Nicaragua
honey peanut caramel blows up a huge chocolate 'sroom head
add leather vinyl + small composting element cut by a faint mint breath

Grass-fed Milk Chocolate
what wafts outs a dark toffee caramel rolls over smoked vanilla cream

Hazelnuts & Chocolate
mild for the type

Cranberry White Chocolate
coconut laden

Strawberry White Chocolate
maple-strawberry butterscotch
Mouthfeel   11.8 / 15
Texture: li'l lumpy / waxed
Melt: marathon-length
Flavor   45.4 / 50
Nicaragua
vanilla malt caramel interlined by black cherry-chocolate -> nice bitter wood offset -> tangs up some on naranjilla -> backdrop cookie dough

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Grass-fed Milk Chocolate
smoke wisp right off doused instantly by a cocoa butter bath -> so waxen it buoys among Milk Duds® -> excellent salted vanilla bean (neither added)

INGREDIENTS: cocoa butter, sugar, cocoa mass (Vietnam), milk powder; Barithmetic (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): ~1:3:3?!?!?!?!

Hazelnuts & Chocolate
mocha latte gianduia -> cows come home at the end & kick over the (butter)milk bucket

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass (Nicaragua), sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, hazelnuts

Cranberry White Chocolate
casein -> plaster -> coconut -> lemon-cranberry -> vanilla frosting

INGREDIENTS: cocoa butter (Tanzania), sugar, coconut, cranberries, vanilla bean

Strawberry White Chocolate
vanilla white -> berry tang -> the twain mix into a citrus butterscotch -> maple edge -> umami

INGREDIENTS: cocoa butter (Tanzania), non-fat milk, sugar, strawberries, vanilla

Quality   16.6 / 20
Nicaragua
Among the best-in-class for the origin. Hits on a nice flavor range (highs / lows; intensity / subtlety; spread; etc.).

Grass-fed Milk Chocolate
Unique formulation. The lead ingredient cocoa butter, followed by sugar, then cocoa beans & finally milk. Hence the "waxen" consistency &, moreover, White Chocolate bearing. For those on the prowl for a different kind of milk choc.

Hazelnuts & Chocolate
River-Sea reverses course on its Grass-fed Milk Chocolate (above) by swapping in more cocoa mass / less cocoa butter. Quite the balancing act. So equipoised throughout save for the very end when the dairy takes hold. Very fine.

Cranberry White Chocolate
A hit or miss / hate it or luv it proposition

Strawberry White Chocolate
Rare for the type / pairing. Heavier & "darker" than usual, & eventually savory. River-Sea turning down the sugar in favor of greater milk presence to turn the trick. Undeodorized cocoa butter then plows thru. Exceptional.

Reviewed January 29, 2019

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