Pralus Tobago Estate Chocolate W.I. 70% 89/100

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North of Scarborough and south of speyside on the eastern coast of Tobago in the hills of Roxborough, master of the culinary arts and qualified sommelier Duane Dove helped to improve and enlarge upon his family’s small cocoa estate in Tobago by starting the Tobago Cocoa Estate W.I. Ltd in 2003, in order to grow and produce the high quality trinitario he dreamed about. In collaboration with his friend Francois Pralus the notorious French chocolatier, Duane sort to make his own single estate bean to bar chocolate and here we have his dream in bar form.

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I’ve tried cacao from Trinidad before and I’ve had my fair share of trinitarios, but this is the first cacao I’ve tried from Tobago itself. Still I’d expect the bar to be fruity, with trinitarios being the fruitier compared with criollo and with Trinidad being the home of trinitarios. I have had a few bars from Pralus now and consistently, so far at least, I’ve experienced a darker roast that usually helps to bring a developed sweetness alongside some smooth textures. So with a few expectations I opened the bar to find the traditionally thick Pralus slab and cube design, which if I’m honest I’m a big fan of, with this rich and expressive aroma of acidic bramble fruit and cocoa molasses. A creamy mouthfeel precedes flavours of bramble fruit, roast and cream, reminding me a little of a good Victoria sponge. The roast here seems to have provided good development of both the flavours and the sweetness, while pairing down the acidity slightly, which provides more of a fruity flavour than it does a berry acidity, somewhat more grown up. This bar seems to me to be one for those who have a love of good desserts and patisserie, as much as they have a love for chocolate.

Ingredients: 70% Cocoa, sugar, pure cocoa butter, GMO-free soya lecithin

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Medium light brown with some purpling
Texture: Smooth lightly grained fudge
Mould: Pralus slab and cube design
Snap: Crisp, thick
Temp/Shine: Matte Sheen, consistent

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Cocoa, bramble, raspberry vinegar, molasses
Quality: Rich, robust, expressive

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Long, hard
Evenness: Fairly even
Texture: Creamy, liquor, little dry
Quality: Tactile, heavy

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Bramble, raspberries
Quality: Balancing, a touch hard

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7.5
Notes: Light muscovado, milk sugar, oat biscuits
Quality: Developed, honest

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Bramble, roast, raspberries, cream, vanilla sponge
Quality: Deep, full

Length 9.5/10

Long robust flavours last an age as acidity hums in waves

Finish 9/10

Notes: Bramble, cream, cocoa Quality: Bramble fruit notes tingle on the finish before a long sweet cocoa cream stays behind for a long while slowly drying over time

Balance 9/10

Bar doesn’t feel overtly balanced, but all flavours and textures are complementary and all levels are well equalised. Robust structure is highly consistent

Overall 9/10

Bar is well developed, has some dimension, but has a large depth of flavour, expression is individual

Pralus’ Tasting Notes: Powerful and aromatic nose with layers of raisins, brown sugar and blackberries followed by a long creamy finish.

 

 

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