Jordi’s Chocolate Vietnam Ben Tre 75% 91/100

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This bar is made with trinitario beans from the Ben Tre province, part of the Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam. Once harvested and shipped they arrive in Hradec Králové, 50 miles east of Prague, where founders Jiří Stejskal and Lukáš Koudelka help to turn these into one of Jordi’s chocolate bars.

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I’ve tried some bars from Vietnam before and I’ve come to expect an earthy or rustic feel to a bold acidity. So far this acidity seems to have tended towards red fruits and this boldness of character has produced something similar to a Madagascan but with much deeper and earthier base notes. There’s not usually much in the way of refinement, but there’s plenty of unmistakeable flavour and I can’t help expecting this bar to be more of the same. Opening the bar, the chocolate work looks very consistent and breaking off a piece the aroma begins a slightly confusing experience, the bar has some complex fruity aromas with some earthy tobacco notes to help ground it – all aspects that I would associate with high intensity – but the aroma is fairly low in intensity, it requires some real sniffing to draw out the aromas. Placing a piece in my mouth, there’s a juicy and buttery mouthfeel which is much bolder and fuller than the aromas. To taste the bar is immediately bold and bright with flavour, there’s some initial earthiness, but that moves quickly onto fruit flavours that follow through to a bright and bold acidity. There’s raspberries, red apples and limes, in the acidity and some additional blackberry flavours develop before the bar rounds out ending with notes of buttery marzipan. The acidity and sweetness are noticeably rounded and very well balanced, but with a high intensity and the possibility to go off the rails entirely, the roundedness manages to provide balance and some of the highest degrees of refinement I’ve experienced from Vietnamese cocoa. This is a really well rounded bar with some interesting complexities, some bright and fruity flavours and a high quality acidity and sweetness, offering a wealth of experience within just one bar. One for those who like a bar that packs a punch, but aren’t willing to compromise on balance and stability.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Medium brown
Texture: Flakey sandstone
Mould: Jordi’s squarecomb slab
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte, consistent

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Smoke, tobacco, raspberry, lime, almonds, candy floss
Quality: Complex, distant

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Juicy, buttery
Quality: Bold, full

Acidity 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Raspberry, red apple, lime
Quality: Bright, bold, rounded

Sweetness 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Ripe fruit, boiled sweets, marzipan
Quality: Rounded, developed

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet
Notes: Raspberry, red apple, blackberry, lime, marzipan, milk
Quality: Earthy, complex, bold

Length 9/10

Flavours extend in length getting long in the middle, rounding develops from the sweetness and acidity

Finish 9/10

Notes: Berry, lime, marzipan
Quality: Peaks of berry fruit flavours make their way to the finish as lime and marzipan takeover leaving a lingering nuttiness

Balance 9.5/10

Bar is particularly refined and balance for having high acidity and sweetness, medium structure encourage balance with earthy profile grounds the rounded acidity and sweetness

Overall 9.5/10

Bar has depth and plenty of dimension, complexities are well balanced, structure remains consistent, expression is honest of terroir and individual, processing helps to smooth out the general mouthfeel and flavour profile

Jordi’s Tasting Notes:

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