Marou Vietnam Ben Tre 78% 91.5/100

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These trinitario beans are from the Ben Tre province in the Mekong Delta, south west of Saigon. Once harvested and fermented these beans make their way to Saigon, where Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou turn them into one of Marou’s beautiful chocolate bars.

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I’m beginning to get the impression with Vietnamese cocoa, that a categorisation of earthy cocoa and powerful red berry acidity has many expressions, within the bounds of just one country country. Here we have another cocoa made from a particular area within Vietnam and I expect some more of the same and yet at the same time something different. Small variances in this countries terroir seem to have a significant effect on the complexities of the chocolate, while at the same time maintaining a core set of flavours. Opening the bar I’m presented with Marou’s signature big M slab and breaking a piece off, there’s some intense sweet and fruity aromas, this is a big splash of pink tones hinting at some fruity chocolate. Placing a piece in my mouth it’s like slowly melting clotted cream, a wonderful viscosity. To taste the bar has some complexity to the fruit and it’s mainly pink with a touch of raisins to provide some depth. This is a powerfully sweet and fruity bar with a sporadic acidity that asserts itself towards the second half of the melt, all riding on a smooth and creamy wave of clotted cream. The flavour while big and fruity offers a roundedness that gives the bar a little refinement allowing it to express quality as well as its playful nature. This particularly expressive bar offers both honesty in the expression of its terroir and obvious quality in the chocolate work to bring about this bar. This is an impressive bar that’s best enjoyed when in the mood for big, fun, bold, intense and fruity flavours, this ones sure to grab your attention. Pairing well with a good glass of summer rose or blush.

Ingredients: Cocoa, cocoa butter, cane sugar

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Medium brown, light purpling
Texture: Smooth dry basalt
Mould: Marou big M segment slab
Snap: Very Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Acidic cocoa, bright pink fruit, raspberries, strawberries, blush, pink sherbet
Quality: Acidic, sweet, fragrant

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Smooth, clotted cream
Quality: Smooth, full

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Raspberry, raisin
Quality: Bright, building, lightly sharp

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Raspberry syrup, pomegranate molasses, pink sherbet
Quality: Developed, bright, smooth

Flavour 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Type: Sweet
Notes: Raspberry, sweet sherry, raisin, strawberry, cranberry, clotted cream
Quality: Rounded, bright, smooth

Length 9/10

Flavours while bright are subtle and long arcing in an undercurrent, sporadic acidity provides the round

Finish 9/10

Notes: Fruity, clotted cream, cocoa
Quality: Fruity notes fill the end before a clotted cream finish that leaves lingering notes of creamy cocoa

Balance 9/10

Complementary flavours and attributes couple with the creamy undertone provide a lot of balance, medium structure provides sufficient anchor for the flavour, sweet fruit and acidity occasionally threaten to undo the balance

Overall 9.5/10

Bar has a tonne of depth and plenty of dimension, complexities are well managed, structure is consistent, expression is honest of terroir with processing providing a smooth creamy base


Marou’s Tasting Notes: An Intense yet balanced chocolate from Ben Tre province in the Mekong Delta, where cacao trees are planted among the coconut groves.

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