Michel Cluizel Mexico Plantation Mokaya 66% 87/100

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This bar is created from organic, fine flavour Trinitario cocoa beans grown in the Chiapas region of Mexico on its south west coastline. Once harvested these beans are shipped to Damville in Normandy just west of Paris to Manufacture Cluizel to be turned into one of their single plantation chocolate bars. You can read more about Mokaya on Michel Cluizel’s website here http://www.cluizel.com/en/engagements-qualite/chocolat-bio-cluizel.html

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I’ve tried some cocoa from Mexico, but there’s some pretty diverse flavours coming from its growing regions and even more from the varied genetics especially more ancient uncultivated strains. If I had a general impression of Mexican cocoa, it would be for archetypal bittersweet cocoa flavours with notes of coffee and a tendency towards being refined and light. This is fairly general however and focuses more on cocoa from the Chiapas region than it does from say Tobacco, if there’s any fruit to be had I would expect citric fruit, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find low fruit and acidity. My hope is that this bar offers something refined, but moreover something significant, a distinctive or individual flavour that takes it beyond just generally being Mexican. Opening the packaging I’m presented with a darker brown colour profile, which seems to be in line with those I’ve tried before and not necessarily indicative of roast, breaking off a piece there’s some rich, deep, but simple notes of archetypal chocolate notes, cocoa, earth, brazil nuts and milk. Placing a piece in my mouth, the chocolate is fairly coating with a tangible glossy texture that’s both similar to caramel and velvet. To taste the bar leads heavily with archetypal flavours, earthy cocoa, nuts and a deep caramel sweetness, which leads over time to some darker sugar tones and some dried fruit flavours. The bar is quite dominantly sweet and caramel is the prominent flavour here, which is a little simple, but it’s also in line with the bittersweet profile I somewhat suspected. This is a chocolate that tastes like chocolate, with the sweetness overly providing accessibility, this is an easy bar for people to get to grips with it tastes like you’d expect chocolate to taste if you’d never tasted bars from Madagascar or Vietnam. If archetypal chocolate is your type of thing, then this bar very accessibly provides a chocolatey flavour indicative of all those childhood memories of chocolate you have.

Ingredients: Cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter, bourbon vanilla pod

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Darker brown
Texture: Smooth weathered sandstone
Mould: 5×3 Michel Cluizel relief slab squares
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Intense cocoa, rich earth, brazil nuts, milk
Quality: Rich, deep, simple

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Fairly even
Texture: Glossy, caramel, velvet
Quality: Viscous, coating

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 3
Notes: Date, fig, currant
Quality: Dark, complementary

Sweetness 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Caramel, honeycomb, date molasses
Quality: Developed, prominent

Flavour 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Caramel, earthy, caramel roasted nuts, milk, roasted dates
Quality: Deep, honest, smooth

Length 9/10

Flavours build in length getting longer and more interwoven, rounds are smooth rather than distinct

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Milk, glossy caramel, cocoa
Quality: Milk runs up to the finish where a big hit of glossy caramel peaks, before some lingering cocoa tones.

Balance 9/10

Sweetness is the overwhelming feature here, but while it’s the highest in levels it provides the backbone for complementary balance, medium to heavy structure provides an anchor for flavour

Overall 9/10

Bar has good depth and some dimension of flavour, small amounts of complexity are well balanced, expression seems honest and processing provides a smooth roasty creamy edge to complement and round out the bar

Michel Cluizel’s Tasting Notes: Michel Cluizel’s latest single estate, dark chocolate bar, created from, organic, fine flavour Trinitario cocoa beans from Mexico. This dark chocolate bar holds notes of dried fruits with a perfumed sweet character. Little acidity or bitterness so a well balanced, mellow chocolate suited to most tastes.

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