This is another Burdick bar that made it through the Spring and Summer with some marginal heat damage. Not nearly as bad as the Bolivia Bar. Because of this, there will be a slight adjustment in the appearance score. These bars were shiny and elegant when bought. The slight ashy appearance is due to to some temp changes and my struggle to keep bars at 60 degrees.
Burdick's cocoa is single sourced, but not bean-to-bar. They are a couverture company using Felchlin (Swiss) and Valrhona (French) chocolate. This is a fantastic article by The Nibble from 2008, all about how Burdick's began and his history overseas learning chocolate techniques. And the reason behind using some of the worlds finest couverture for their products. From the bars to the truffles, and Burdick's famous hot chocolate. If you've never had Burdick's hot chocolate, you are really missing out. It's so rich and so thick, the antioxidants in it alone are probably enough to give you a super power like Heroes or the X-Men. It's truly some of the best and most rich and decadent hot chocolate on the market.
Type: Bittersweet, Between 73% and 75%.
Bean Varietal: Probably Nacional
Ingredients: Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, may contain vanilla, may contain soy lecithin.
Sample Size: 100g or 3.5oz
Appearance: Non-monogrammed small squared tablet, deep dark ash brown color, smooth, unblemished surface. *Minor matting on surface with some slight sugar bloom.
Snap: Medium snap quality. Not too firm or crisp and not too soft either. Low snap sound but very clean break lines.
Aroma: Huge aroma! Lightly sweet, big almonds, big oak wood, almost marshmallow-y, vanilla, soft roasted cacao notes, a little spicy.
Taste: Subdued cacao, bitter, sugar, roasted cacao, almonds, slightly inky and flowery, oak wood, vanilla, mild hints of cinnamon, subdued berries, *Indian spices, *Curry, marshmallow.
Texture: Waxy up front, opens up nicely with a medium melt time, slightly viscous and smooth texture.
Again the score on the appearance is based on what it looked like when I bought it. It was super smooth and shiny. It's not scored too high because of the boring molding and dull ash brown color of the chocolate. I mentioned the matted marks on the surface, but did not take that out on the score. I also wanted to explain the ashy sugar bloom for those not familiar with that kind of bloom and what can happen with temperature fluctuations.
The snap was pretty boring. Nothing special to write home about there. I have had better snap quality on other Burdick bars.
The aroma had quite a lot going on. Lightly sweet with huge almonds and oak wood. It was very floral and pretty. It had a sweet candy marshmallow scent on the aroma with some soft roasted cacao and even some vanilla aromas. Some mild spicy characters too. I was most please with that huge woody oak aroma. I loved that and sat there inhaling it for about 15 minutes really trying to take it all in. Very good aroma.
The flavor also had some interesting notes to it. It has some subdued bitterness, and soft roasted cacao, then it opened up with its sugars and almond flavors. There were berries there, but they were being subdued, definite oak wood flavors, slight hints of cinnamon. I put stars next to Indian spices and curry. While I was tasting, I accidentally read the package which mentions it's flavor profile of black tea and Indian spices. I think I let that interfere with my tasting. If I thought enough about it, I could taste those flavors in the bar. I can't tell if it's really in there or if I was influenced. If it is there, it's very slight and subtle. The package did mention mint flavors, but I did not detect though.
I am not the biggest fan of Ecuadorian beans especially Nacional varietals. I feel like they tend to dry the palate out kind of like the difference between rye on a beer or in whiskey. Similar flavors to bourbon but a unique drying effect on the palate rather than cloying sugars. I think that's what was holding down some of the bitterness, and keeping the true potential of the berry flavors at bay. This was actually okay just this one time because it allowed for amazing oak characters and earthy spices to come out and play.
A lot to think about with this bar. Lots of good aromas and flavors. One of the better Ecuador bars I have had. I would like to put this side by side with Askinosie's San Jose Del Tambo bar.
It did have a bit of a waxy texture of front when tasting it, but then it smoothed out fairly nicely and left a smooth creamy texture. Overall this is a fairly good bar of chocolate. Lots to think about with the taste and the aroma. It goes back to my early roots with describing chocolate, "It's thinking chocolate." That used to drive some of my more knowledgeable chocolate friends crazy. "What do you mean 'thinking chocolate'?" I mean I need longer than I usually take to review this chocolate to really let it sink in. To really understand if my palate was influenced or not by the packaging descriptors. Let those rustic earthy oak woods sink in. Not bad for a couverture bar and not a bean-to-bar.
Final Score: 91.2