Review: Patric Chocolate Madagascar
Wow. It seems like forever since I last had a bar of just chocolate. I’ve had all sorts of truffles and brownies and bars with stuff in, but it’s been, I don’t know, since October since I last had a bar of what I would call tasting chocolate. I’ve had tons of them on hand, but have been eating really very little chocolate at all (trying to eat healthy - ugh!) and the bars have just sort of been ignored as I tackled other stuff. But last night that changed. At long last I cracked into Patric Chocolate’s premire release, the Madagascar Sambirano Valley bar. Patric are that most special of breeds – a bean to bar producer (in their case I think artisan is called for) – and the bar is a micro-batch product. And it’s one heck of a bar to mark my return to pure chocolate.
I’ve made no secret that I’m a sucker for nice packaging and the boxes that Patric use are very nice with gold trim and a nice cacao pod graphic. The bar, once extracted from it’s gold wrap, is beautiful. It’s darker than milk chocolate and lighter than a lot of dark chocolate and has a little red in it. It's well formed with a nice engraved P on each square and has a great snap. The aroma is a mix of cedar, coffee, raspberry, and cherry. I didn’t expect the cedar, but that’s what my nose was telling me. The box tells us to expect notes of citrus, red wine, and berries. To me it opens with a quick hint of caramel and a nice mixed berry note and bright orange. The flavor progresses to richer wine (or brandy?) and cherry notes while the berries settle into more of a raspberry note. And somehow there is a bit of citrus running along with it. As it closes I have to go with more of the wine, orange, and raspberry and a hint of lemon or lime as it fades leaving a lasting hint of brown sugar (?!) on the palate. There is really a lot going on in the flavor and I seem to read a little something different each time. I’m really not good with Madagascar chocolates so certainly take this review with a grain of salt. I’m afraid that I might be missing or misreading a lot here.
But even if I am missing something, what I am finding is extremely pleasurable. It is a smooth ride with nice mix of citrus, berry, and wine and no bitterness to speak of and would make a great chocolate for a relative neophyte (like me!) to enjoy. I really enjoyed the bar a lot. I’m calling it a 9.5 out of 10 (I worry that I score too high a lot) but have to warn that my reviews should be taken with a grain of salt for inexperience and the fact that I inject a lot of my personal tastes into the numbers. But, you know, this blog really is more about my impressions and experiences as opposed to some great and overriding chocolate standard. Anyway, I like the bar a lot. The score stands and I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.