Pariguan, Dark chocolate with flowers and citrus notes.
A Porcelana bean bar from La Maison du Chocolate in Gay Paree. Actually, it's from one of their shops in London courtesy of Angelo Scarnea again. Named after the plantation, Porcelana Criollo del pedregal, in Venezuela. Valrhona couverture.
In doing some light searching about this particular plantation, I found that Valhrona uses the plantation for these Porcelana beans. I had to guess that La Maison used Valrhona as couverture. This was confirmed to me by Stuart Robson, Whiskey and Chocolate aficionado, who used to work for La Maison. The founder of La Maison, Robert Linxe worked closely with Valrhona on certain ventures. I believe that not everything is made with Valrhona coverture, but this bar is.
Chocolate companies should really make that more clear. It's not like it's top secret information or trade secrets. If you use courverture, just say so. Or please list your information properly on your websites.
History of La Maison du Chocolate.
Click images to enlarge.
Type: Bittersweet, 69%
Bean Varietal: Porcelana, Criollo varieties
Ingredients: Cocoa paste, brown sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla.
Sample Size: 75g or 2.6oz
Lot #: LP7510312
Appearance: Smooth surface, flat large squared tablet, slightly textured surface with a simple monogram on each square. Medium brown color. One minor scratch on the surface.
Snap: Good firm snap, good snap sound, and clean break lines.
Aroma: Very acidic right out of the package, tar, and cherries, but then softens up quite a bit with a nice floral aroma, soft muted roasted cacao.
Taste: Sweet, very sugary sweet, lightly acidic, cherries, wood, pen ink, slightly nutty.
Texture: Smooth, creamy, fast melt time.
This has all the hallmarks of fantastic Venezuelan cacao, but I feel like a lot was lost due to too much sugar. And while it doesn't have an immediate intense acidic quality to it, it's pretty tangy. There are deep tart cherries, ink, rich wood flavors, and a little bit of nuttiness in there. I love these flavors, but the sugar tore my palate up. It made it difficult to focus on these flavors and fully understand them better. It was too sweet and that's why I gave it a lower score.
The aroma is everything is says on the package, but really soft. It's big and citrus-y right out of the package and then softens to a nice floral aroma and soft roasted cacao. There really wasn't a lot going with this aroma and it dissipates so quickly leaving only a light roasted aroma and some smoke. That's why it didn't score that high. It's good for a few minutes, but doesn't last long.
Technically every thing else was right on the mark. It's snap was fantastic, the surface was flawless barring one very minor, superficial scratch. You need to click on the image and see this bar up close to know what I am talking about with the sort of textured surface. It doesn't look like it from the small pictures but you can see it when it's enlarged. The texture was excellent. The technical elements hold this chocolate up. If it weren't for the addition of all that sugar on this bar, I think they could have had and A+ bar here.
Final Score: 91.2