Pump Street Bakery Jamaica 75% Bachelor’s Hall Estate 2015 89/100

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Situated below the Blue Mountains of the St Thomas Parish on the south eastern end of Jamaica Desmond Jadusingh’s Bachelor’s Hall Estate produce predominantly Trinitario beans with some Criollo and Forastero varieties on the farm. You can read more about the farm on Pump Street Bakery’s website here. Once grown and shipped they arrive in the small Suffolk coastal town of Orford, to a bakery for processing into one of Pump Street’s single origin chocolate bars. A bakery may seem like a strange place to be producing chocolate bars, but if you’ve ever tasted their single origin Ecuadorian milk pain au chocolat, you’ll appreciate that Pump Street’s passion for and dedication to baking transfers just as well to chocolate making, as it does to producing wonderful baked goods.  

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I’ve tried relatively little Jamaican cacao and that probably owes to the fact the Bacherlor’s Hall is the only direct trade cocoa supplier in Jamaica. My experience is limited to a tart green acidity and flavour, from Jamaica as a single origin, I can only expect that this is likely to carry through here, but I’m open to finding a different profile. With its neighbours including Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, I wouldn’t be surprised to find something a bit earthier here, but that remains to be seen. Opening the bar it’s the increasingly familiar 4×4 simple block mould that I’ve become accustomed to, breaking off a piece there’s aromas of rye whiskey, ginger and smokey spice with a hint of cherries. It’s a lot closer to the cocoa I’ve smelled from Grenada so far. Placing a piece in my mouth it’s smooth and syrupy, firm and refined. To taste this is a smooth, long alcoholic drink with rich dark sugars and a soft malted creamy base. Reminiscent of whiskeys, rums and bourbons the rich notes here are from sweet dried fruit like raisins and cherries mixed with dark caramels, balanced by the smooth cream and malt elements. The refined mouthfeel adds to the effect with a firm but smooth addition to the proceedings. This bar isn’t overly complex, but it is well dimensioned and more than that its enjoyable in a brooding fashion. It reminds me of darkened smokey drinking holes where dark spirits are sipped to steal away the evening, slowly delivering their intensity. This is a slow and long chocolate with a large variety of base notes lightened only by the soft alcohol tones and the odd flash of cherry. If you like dark flavours and taking your time, this bar is perfect in place of something bright and acidic, rather something slow, rich and flavourful.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cane sugar, organic cocoa butter

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Darker earthy brown
Texture: Creamy smooth, light flake
Mould: 4 x 4 mould
Snap: Crisp, thick
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte, consistent

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Rye whiskey, ginger, clove, tobacco, hint of cherries
Quality: Rich, fragrant, aged

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Smooth, syrupy, creamy
Quality: Firm, refined

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 2
Notes: Rum, soft raisin
Quality: Light, soft

Sweetness 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7.5
Notes: Dark caramel, molasses
Quality: Developed, dark, rich

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8.5
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Peaty whiskey, garibaldi biscuit, cream, malted loaf, cherry
Quality: Rich, dimensioned

Length 9/10

Flavours vary in length but lean towards long, with the base stretching the furthest, rounds are long but come from the soft acidity

Finish 9/10

Notes: Creamy, malted loaf, alcoholic tones
Quality: Creamy malted loaf flavours fill the end before a sweet aged alcoholic finish, creaminess quietly lingers on after creating a smooth exit

Balance 9/10

There is a long balance here, with creamy malted tones evening out the playing field, deep dark sugar tones and a firm structure give the bar roots and stability

Overall 9/10

There is plenty of depth here and the flavours are dimensioned, complexities are well balanced although not overtly complementary, structure is uniform and expression feels honest, processing provides additional creaminess and balance


Pump Street Bakery’s Tasting Notes: Initially rich, a satisfying melt releases hints of sweet, juicy berries before rounding into a distinctive honeyed rum finish. Serendipitous for a Jamaican bar.

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