Lauden Madagascar 70% 86.5/100

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Using cocoa beans from Madagascar Sun and Stephen Trigg use their chocolate know how to help turn these into one of their chocolate bars at their workshop in Kirkstall, Leeds.

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I’ve tried a lot of cocoa from Madagascar now and assuming this is a trinitario variety, it’s going to be fruity, with berry flavours leading the charge. Occasionally there’s some balsamic to the acidity and occasionally some tropical and stonefruits enter the mix, but in general it’s red fruits, high acidity and hopefully a smooth balance. Opening the bar I’m presented by some good looking chocolate work and breaking off a piece there’s distinctly Madagascan aromas of red fruits, jam with some buttery notes close by. To taste I’m impressed to find a very consistent smooth and firm mouthfeel, which helps to provide a long melt leading into berry and berry jam flavours from the outset, there’s a butteryness to the texture and flavours reminding me of jam and butter on bread, but in a way this slightly mutes the flavours while giving them good texture. The acidity and fruit flavours are lighter than in any Madagascan I’ve tried, they’re there and they have some depth and dimension to them, they’re just not all that powerful or particularly long. If you’re someone who sidesteps bars from Madagascan origins for their intensity and overt acidity, this bar offers something milder, all the flavours of a Madagasca just slightly more subdued.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: soya lecithin

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Lighter brown, light purpling
Texture: Buttery sandstone
Mould: 5×3 Lauden imprint indent cubes
Snap: Very Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy sheen

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Red fruits, jam, butter, cocoa, almond
Quality: Honest, distinctive

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Thick butter, firm, smooth
Quality: Full, dense

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 5
Notes: Berry, mango
Quality: Balancing, rounding

Sweetness 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Berry jam, jam sugar
Quality: Uplifting, developed

Flavour 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Type: Sweet
Notes: Berry jam, butter, almond, mango
Quality: Honest, slightly muted

Length 8/10

Flavours get longer, but still remain a little short, round struggles but comes through with the acidity

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Berry, mango, butter
Quality: Berry fruit gives way to mango for the finish before a clean buttery sensation lingers

Balance 9/10

Buttery and firm profile of the bar helps to give the bar a lot of balance, slightly muted flavours and acidity sit neatly on a firm structure

Overall 8.5/10

There’s some depth and some dimension here, but flavours remain slightly muted, small amount of complexity is well balanced, firm structure is consistent and expression is honest of terroir, processing helps to provide a smooth buttery texture

Lauden’s Tasting Notes: Red fruits with a light acidity & deep chocolate notes

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