Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Mast Brothers Grand Cru Chuao 70%

Lindy's Rating: 4.5 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 4.5 (previously **)

chocolate makerMast Brothers
barGrand Cru Chuao 70%
cacao treesCriollo
size71g ~ 2.5oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$10.00

colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1317
Bitter Chocolate
texturesmooth with scoring, uneven sheen
aromaroast (smoky, cocoa), floral, spice
tastefruit (berry, citrus), roast, sweet, chalky, hints of bitter and astringency
finishslightly tannin, slightly ashy

Like the Grand Cru Chuao 81% and the Grand Cru Chuao 76%, Grand Cru Chuao 70% was made from Criollo cacao beans from the famous Chuao region of Venezuela. Mast Brothers makes their chocolate with only two ingredients: cacao and cane sugar (in proportions of 70% and 30%, respectively, for the Grand Cru Chuao 76%). The 2.5 ounce bar was scored into 32 small pieces, wrapped in gold foil and placed inside nice heavy craft paper. It was made on 19 May 2011.

Grand Cru Chuao 70% had a medium brown Bitter Chocolate (PANTONE 19-1317) color. As with the 81% and 76%, the surface was imperfect, with swirls of slightly different smoothness and color. The bar had a hard snap.

This chocolate gave off aromas of roast, including both smokiness and a rich cocoa. We also smelled scents of floral and spice.

The primarily flavors of Grand Cru Chuao 70% were berry and citrus, but I also tasted sweetness, roast, chalkiness, and a little astringency. Lindy noticed a slight initial bitterness.

The melt began slowly and was actually grainy, obviously worse than either the 81% or 76%, and the first bar we've ever rated below less smooth. The flavor lasted around 15 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a short length. The final aftertaste was slightly tannin and slightly astringent.

In the U.K. you can purchase Mast Brothers Grand Cru Chuao 70% online for £9.95 from The Chocolate Society. Grand Cru Chuao 70% does not appear to be available online in the U.S. Mast Brothers chocolate bars are available at many retailers in New York and some others around the U.S. (here's a list on their website).

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