Casa Bosques Octavo Chocolate Lavanda Trinidad y Tobago 62% 90/100

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Home of the trinitario bean, here we have a bar made from cocoa harvested in Trinidad and Tobago produced by a Mexican master chocolatier, J. Llanderal and Savvy a creative design studio who collaborated on the production of a set of 12 exquisite chocolate bars, featuring exciting packaging and branding. This, their eighth offering features the inclusion of lavender, which the team came across on their seasonal tour of the cocoa producing routes. You can read more about their bars here http://casabosques.net/en/category/projects/chocolates-en/

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I’ve become increasingly more accustomed to bars with inclusions, but this is probably the least instinctive of the inclusions that I’ve tried yet. My expectations relate more to the chocolate, having experienced some pretty fruity cacaos from both Trinidad and Tobago, I have to expect more of the same here.Opening the bar there’s a distinct lavender aroma emanating from the bar, but as far as lavender aromas go it’s pretty refined. My feeling with this bar is that it’s much like the last from Casa Bosques and could be accused of being a showcase for the inclusion rather than the chocolate, again a well processed and developed cacao acts as the perfect vehicle for the flavour of the inclusion. Smooth mouthfeels, developed sweetness and the tempering of milky flavours have made an elegant chocolate, but one missing a strong top note, a note which has been filled with lavender. This is not just any lavender though, again Casa Bosques have used only top quality ingredients with high dimensions of flavour, this rescues the attempt of the chocolate bar and it’s clear that the chocolate is not an afterthought, it is the best vehicle for the inclusion, the chocolatier clearly knows how to match flavours. This bar leaves me in two minds, is this a great chocolate bar? Yes. Is this great chocolate? Well, it does display skill and craft in its manufacture, but this is only  a finished product with the addition of lavender. Should you try it? Well, yes, if only to discover that chocolate and lavender do indeed go together.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, sugar, lavender

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Darker brown, light purpling
Texture: Polished sandstone, smooth/rough
Mould: 6 x 4 simple squares
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte, consistent

Aroma 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10):
Notes: Lavender, cream, red chilli, pepper, pink candy floss
Quality: Honest, dimensioned, complex

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Very smooth, raw milk
Quality: Refined, elegant, light

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 2
Notes: Milk, berry jam
Quality: Balanced

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9.5
Notes: Flower nectar, fresh floral honeycomb
Quality: Aromatic, light, developed

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Type: Sweet, salt
Notes: Sweet floral lavender, fresh honeycomb, raw milk, pepper, smooth berry soft set jam
Quality: Dimensioned, distinctive, light

Length 9.5/10

Flavours are light but particularly long, lasting for an age before rounding elegantly

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Lavender, berry soft set jam, milk, aniseed, cocoa
Quality: Soft set jam and milk lead in to a peak of lavender, before the aniseed side of lavender takes over and lingers a while before fading into cocoa

Balance 8.5/10

The lavender is dominant here there is no mistaking that, but all factors are complementary and attributes heighten each other, acidity is replaced by florals and spice mediated by a medium to strong structure while remaining light in tone. There is a degree of dominance here without leading to imbalance

Overall 9/10

There is depth to the flavour, but there is far more dimension, flavours have a degree of complexity while bar remains majoritively balanced, structure is uniform and processing has produced elegant chocolate, expression is original, but this is the expression of an inclusion


Tasting Notes: This chocolate is made with cocoa grown in Trinidad and Tobago, when it is merged with lavender its floral notes and subtle flavours of red berries make it a unique and rewarding experience. You have in your hands the eighth edition of a collection of twelve chocolates based on a seasonal tour of the cocoa strip, a collaboration between master chocolatier J. Llanderal and savvy studio.

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