Pierre Marcolini Cameroun Domaine Dark Mungo 70% 90.5/100

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This bar is made with forastero beans from the “Dark Mungo” estate located in the Upper Penja region on the Cameroon coast. This is an experimental farm with a very small production exclusively for Marcolini. Once harvested these beans are processed by Pierre Marcolini in Belgium before becoming one of their Single Origin chocolate bars.

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I’ve tried cocoa from Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, but this is my first chocolate from Cameroon. I’m not exactly sure what to expect here, my experience with African cocoa is one of earthy flavours with the possibility of a pleasurable robust flavour. Finer cocoa from this region tends to exhibit earthy caramels and more rounded attributes, but I don’t know of this cocoa in terms of a particularly distinguishable terroir, I’ve not even tried coffee from this region. My hope for this chocolate is that it offers something new and apart from its neighbouring cocoa farming countries, something individual that while earthy remains accessible. Opening the packaging I’m presented with an easily identifiable Marcolini block of 3 x 3 squares and breaking off a piece reveals aromas intense and earthy chocolate with a hint of leather on the finish. Placing a piece in my mouth it becomes clear that this smooth creamy cocoa gives way to what is a cocoa nib inclusion, such is the quantity of roasted cocoa nibs that this bar must have been designed as an inclusion. To taste this bar opens with smooth creamy notes that later develop into white biscuit cream and coconut cream with some top notes of white fruit and a touch of savoury bourbon biscuit towards the end to go with the cocoa nib crunch. The flavours are fairly simple, but they’re also pleasurable and refined, offering you something that’s accessible and approachable without being wild or complex. The character of this bar comes from the cocoa nibs that match perfectly with the chocolate adding texture and balanced flavour. With great balance and length this is an easy bar to enjoy and eats about as well as it melts. Best enjoyed with fruity gin, salty whisky and malted vanilla milkshakes.

Ingredients: Cocoa, sugar, soy lecithin

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Darker medium brown
Texture: Fleck and cocoa bean
Mould: 3 x 3 MARCOLINI squares
Snap: Very crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Intense cocoa, earthy chocolate, leather
Quality: Earthy, refined, deep

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Cream, smooth, cocoa nib crunch
Quality: Smooth, even, consistent, heavy

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 2
Notes: White fruit, mulberry
Quality: Soft, balancing

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: White biscuit cream
Quality: Smooth, rounded, confectionary

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Smooth cocoa, cream, white fruit, mulberry, coconut cream, bourbon biscuit
Quality: Smooth, earthy, refined

Length 9.5/10

Flavours are smooth and subtle, but long in length reaching out and rounding in long arcs with peaks of fruit

Finish 9/10

Notes: White biscuit cream, bourbon biscuit, crunch
Quality: Fruit makes its way towards the end, before sweet white biscuit cream notes take up the finish with a touch of savoury bourbon biscuit, notably highlighted by the crunch of cocoa nibs.

Balance 9.5/10

Bar is very complementary and as a result has plenty of over balance, it’s both sweet and earthy, robust and refined, smooth and crunchy, medium structure provides firm but subtle stability

Overall 9/10

Bar has depth and a good degree of dimension, small amount of complexity are well balanced, structure is consistent, expression while not particularly complex or individual feels honest and refined, with processing providing additional smoothness


Pierre Marcolini’s Tasting Notes: Strong and robust cocoa, slightly woody, note of yellow fruit, very long in mouth for a forastero

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