Richard's Rating: 6.0
Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou make all of their chocolate in their nut-free factory in Ho Chi Minh City from three ingredients: cacao, cocoa butter, and cane sugar.
Lam Dong 74% came hand-wrapped in bronze foil-sided paper sealed closed by a sticker with their "M" logo. The outer peacock aqua paper wrapper was silk-screened with gold ink and closed with double-sided adhesive.
The 100 gram bar was scored with diagonal lines that provide pieces of different sizes. In the center was an imprint of the Marou logo. The chocolate was made with 74% cocoa solids and 26% cane sugar. The best before date of this particular bar was January 16, 2014, and the batch number was 288.
The color of the chocolate was a medium brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431). The surface was smooth, but had several bubbles, lines from the wrapper, and a few adhered bits.
The bar had a hard snap. The aroma was primarily a coffee roast. Some earthiness, a bit of nuttiness, and a sweetness were also present.
The chocolate tasted of roast, spice, and earth. The roast had both cocoa and smoke flavors. The spice included pepper. The earthiness seemed closest to soil. There was also some of the sweetness from the aroma.
The melt was smooth. The chocolate had a long length, with the flavor lasting 40 to 45 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was somewhat tannin and somewhat bitter.
You can purchase Marou Lam Dong 74% online for $9.00 from Chocolopolis.