Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Nova Monda Gold Label 80% Ecuador

Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerNova Monda
barGold Label 80%
cacao trees(unknown)
size53g ~ 1.9oz
cocoa solids80%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$5.99
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1314
Seal Brown
texturesmooth, scoring, uneven sheen, bubbles, adhered bits
aromafloral, dairy, earth, roast
tastefloral, woody, earth, sweet, sour, acidic, fruit (banana, berry), wine
finishsour, tannin
Nova Monda makes primarily jar chocolate, but in 2011 they began making chocolate bars. They currently make three single origin unflavored chocolate bars: Purple Label 70%, Green Label 75%, and Gold Label 80%. Purple and Green are made with cacao from Nicaragua; Gold is made with cacao from Ecuador.

Gold Label 80% was made with cacao beans from a cooperative in Punta Galera in the Esmeraldas province of Ecuador. The beans were roasted at a facility in Ecuador, and Nova Monda bought the nibs and liquor for their chocolate. Although they purchased after roasting, Nova Monda was involved with the fermenting, drying, and roasting processes for their cacao.

According to the wrapper, Gold Label contained 80% cacao and 20% cane sugar. Nova Monda's website indicated that the cane sugar was evaporated cane juice. Both ingredients were organic, though the bar was not certified.

The unusual size 52.7 gram (1.86 ounce) bar was scored into 12 pieces. It came wrapped in gold foil sided wax paper in a paper sleeve. The best before date was October 2013.

The chocolate was a medium-dark brown Seal Brown (PANTONE 19-1314) color. The bar had a smooth surface with an uneven sheen and several bubbles. There were also adhered bits of chocolate on the bar. The snap was hard.

Floral, dairy, and earth scents were present in the aroma. I also smelled some roast.

Gold Label tasted floral, woody, and earthy. I experienced sweetness, sourness, and acidity. As the chocolate melted, fruit flavors of banana and berry developed, along with a wine flavor. I tasted none of the roast from the aroma. This chocolate was likely made with a light roast.

The chocolate had a smooth melt, nearly more smooth. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was sour and tannin.

You can currently purchase Gold Label 80% directly from Nova Monda for $4.99, a $1.00 discount from their regular $5.99 price.

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