Mast Brothers Chocolate and Crown Maple syrup from the Catkills. Simple enough concept, but not a lot of information about this bar except that it's made with Crown Maple products. No word on what the base chocolate is except it's 73% dark chocolate. Their minimalist website has zero information about it. Kind of frustrating to have to scour the web and other blogs to gather information about it. I get it guys, you are hipsters and artisans who don't like to use computers. But the rest of us do and we would like some more information about your products. Even after scouring, I still have no idea what the base is. I suspect it's either something Venezuelan or from the Dominican Republic.
Striking packaging as usual though.
Type: Flavored bittersweet, 73%
Bean Varietal: Unknown
Ingredients: Cacao, maple sugar.
Sample Size: 2.5 oz
Batch # 21081211
Appearance: Deep dark brown color, shiny molded surface with streaky back side. Regular, non-monogrammed molding.
Snap: Light and dull snap sound, clean break lines with a chalky appearance on the break lines.
Aroma: Roasted cacao, smoky, little woody and a little tangy, caramel, medicinal, earthy, inky.
Taste: Tart, very acidic, inky, sour, big bold wood, toast, no maple taste whatsoever.
Texture: Very soft, grainy, fast melt time. Creamy but the grainy texture messes that up.
Tastes like something from Venezuela, but completely out of balance. This is the second time ever I have to report that I found a chocolate to be gross. It's terribly sour, extremely acidic, there is no natural harmony with the extremely robust flavors of the chocolate and the maple syrup. They're using a great product like a wonderfully natural maple syrup from small craft producers in the Catskills, you would think they would want that to shine through even just a little bit. I couldn't taste any of it in this bar. The chocolate is so over the top raw and untamed, it left little to be desired. I never thought I would say that about the Mast Brothers ever, but this bar was out of control.
It actually made my throat a little sore after eating a few squares from the acidity. I don't know what to make of that.
The appearance was simple and good. Just some odd streaking on the back of the bar. The aroma was fairly decent. But the snap was dull and weak and the texture was good up until the overly large granules of the chocolate interfered with that.
I am so frustrated with this bar. This is certainly not Mast Brothers quality that I am used to. In the past I have noticed consistency issues, and an acidity issue that I felt might become a problem if they didn't get on top of it. I noticed it in a couple of different bars making it a signature issue of the makers and not the beans. I have always said these guys are amazing. If they just tweak a few issues, they will be one of the best in the US. This bar was a huge step in the wrong direction.
This score should be lower than it is because taste is everything, but it's other technical marks hold it up higher than it should be.