Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Askinosie Davao Philippines

Richard's Rating: 6.5

chocolate makerAskinosie
barDavao, Philippines
cacao treesTrinitario
size85g ~ 3.0oz
cocoa solids77%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane juice
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00

colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, scoring, character reliefs, tiny bubbles, adhered bits
aromaearth, roast (malt, tobacco), fruit, sweet
snapmedium hard
tasteearth, acidic, bitter, fruit, wood, roast (smoke, cocoa), sour, caramel
meltmore smooth
finishbitter, somewhat acidic, slightly sour
In 2011 we reviewed three of Askinosie's four unflavored bean to bar dark chocolates: Cortés Honduras, San Jose Del Tambo Ecuador, and Tenende Tanzania. Today, we're finally posting a review of the fourth: Davao Philippines.

As you might recall from those prior reviews, Shawn Askinosie has developed personal relationships with the farmers who grow his cacao. He also shares the profits from his chocolate with them. The Trinitario cacao for this chocolate comes from the Davao region in the southeast Philippines. Peter Cruz is the lead farmer there, and is pictured on the wrapper.

Davao is the first single origin chocolate made by anyone from Philippine cacao. The 77% cocoa solids in this chocolate consisted of 75% cacao and 2% added cocoa butter. The remaining ingredient was organic cane juice (the other 23%). Note that the cocoa butter was actually pressed from the same Davao cacao, rather than a cheaper, lower quality cocoa butter used by most chocolate makers.

The 85 gram bar was scored into 18 pieces, each with a single letter of "Askinosie chocolate". It came wrapped in NatureFlex™ inside a waxed brown paper bag.

Askinosie uses a best before date of 1 year after the bar was produced as a "Choc-o-lot #" to identify the production run of the chocolate bar. The Choc-o-lot # is stamped on each wrapper and you can view a brief production history by entering it on their homepage. The Choc-o-lot # of the bar reviewed here was 060613, indicating it was finished on June 6, 2012.

The color of Davao was a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface was smooth and the bar looked great other than some small imperfections: a few tiny bubbles in the raised lettering, some adhered bits, and a couple of places where the sheen was uneven. The bar had a medium hard snap.

Davao had an earthy aroma, with scents of roast, fruit, and sweetness. The roast contained both malt and tobacco.

The earthiness of the aroma was just as prominent in the taste. The earthy flavor was acidic and bitter, but not unpleasantly so. I tasted additional flavors of fruit, wood, roast in the form of smoke and cocoa, caramel, and some sourness.

The chocolate had a melt that was more smooth. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was bitter, somewhat acidic, and slightly sour.

You can purchase Askinosie Davao Philippines online directly from Askinosie for $8.00. To combine it with the purchase of other chocolate, you can buy Davao for $7.99 from Chocolopolis or Caputo's.

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