Mucho Mexico Carmelo 70% 87.5/100

 

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This bar is made using cocoa beans from the Tabasco region of Mexico. Once harvested these cocoa beans are shipped to Mexico City where Ana and the Mucho company turn them into one of their Mexican chocolate bars.  

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I’ve tried some regional cocoa from around Mexico, but I’ve always had the feeling that much like Colombia or Peru, the cocoa has the potential to be quite variable over short distances due to their heritage and the biodiverse environment. Most of the cocoa I’ve tried so far has been from around the Chiapas region or the Tobasco region of Mexico, with both exhibiting fairly different qualities. The cocoa from Chiapas tends to exhibit refined and elegant sunny flavours of citrus and florals with tea like qualities, owing to some of its criollo characteristics, whereas the cocoa from the Tobasco region tends to exhibit dried fruit and smokey tobacco and wood notes, more in line with the chillies produced in that region. Mucho source their cocoa direct from farmers in both the Chiapas and Tobasco regions, so I’d expect most of their bars to fall into one of the two categories, but I’m interested to see if there’s some variability between farms in the regions. This particular cocoa comes from the Tobasco region and is either from the same or a similar place to cocoa I’ve tried from Pierre Marcolini and Alain Ducasse and so I’d expect to see some similarities here with dried fruit notes such as fig and some smokey woody base notes. My main hope is that the cocoa expresses itself with as much quality as the chocolate I’ve tried from this region before. Opening the packaging I’m presented with a long thin slab with an ornate cocoa pod design mould. Breaking off a piece reveals sweet and vibrant aromas of fig and cherry cola with a sweet cocoa note in the finish. Placing a piece in my mouth the chocolate has a buttery texture that’s a little grainy, but a noticeably juicy quality that pervades until the finish. To taste this bar is light in profile, bright in fruitiness and really rather vibrant in tone, it’s cheery as well as tasting of cherries. There’s cherry cola notes and purple figs that lead to a red wine flavour similar to young southern French reds. There’s a light effervescence to this cocoa that leads all the way to the finish where the chocolate changes somewhat, becomes darker and slightly more floral. What I’ve experienced as dried fruit notes in the past from this region is a lot fresher and more vibrant in this bar offering ripeness in place of concentration. This is a bar for people who like bright and distinctive flavours, but aren’t put off by a more rustically produced feel. Best enjoyed with lighter fruity red wines, young goats cheese, salty French fries or French meringue.

Ingredients: Cacao, sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Lighter milky brown
Texture: Smooth fudge, light sandiness
Mould: Ornate cocoa pod slab
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Fig, cherry cola, sweet cocoa
Quality: Sweet, vibrant, effervescent

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Grainy butter, juicy, malted biscuit
Quality: Juicy, airy, fatty, malted

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 4
Notes: Mascerated cherries, red grape
Quality: Soft, fruity, light

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Cherry cola, fig jam, floral honey
Quality: Light, lightly effervescent, bright

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet
Notes: Cherry cola, fig, red wine, floral honey
Quality: Bright, sweet, vibrant

Length 9/10

Flavours get longer, growing longest in the middle making rounds on peaks of sweet fruitiness

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Fig, floral honey
Quality: Flavours make their way to the end becoming slightly floral, with a lighter sweetness in the finish with darker purple fig skin flavours that linger on after the finish with a lightly tannic structure

Balance 8.5/10

Bar has a lighter structure that provides some freedom, but lacks of a bit of stability, attributes are complimentary encouraging a balanced profile

Overall 9/10

Bar has some depth, but has a good degree of dimension, complexities are balanced and structure is light but consistent, expression is honest and distinctive with processing encouraging a breezy sweetness



Mucho’s Tasting Notes:

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