Richard's Rating: 7.0
Ben Tre was made from 78% cocoa solids (cacao beans and cocoa butter) and 22% cane sugar in Marou's nut-free factory in Ho Chi Minh City.
The bright green outer paper wrapper had silk-screened gold ink and was held closed by double-sided adhesive. Inside, the 100 gram bar came hand-wrapped in bronze foil-sided paper closed with a sticker of their "M" logo.
The bar was scored with diagonal lines, giving pieces of different sizes. The center had an imprint of the Marou logo. The best before date of this was January 25, 2014, and the batch number was 303.
The chocolate had a medium brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431) color. The surface was smooth and looked great, even with some adhered bits, lines from the wrapper, and a few bubbles.
Ben Tre had a hard snap. The rich aroma contained roast, earth, and spice. The roast was a mix of cocoa and tobacco. The earth scent seemed closest to hay.
The taste began with and maintained an underlying cocoa roast and earthy hay. Sweetness grew into a strong honey flavor, and some nuttiness developed in the latter half. There was also a hint of sourness.
The chocolate had a smooth melt. The flavor after the chocolate was gone lasted about 40 to 50 seconds, giving a long length. The final aftertaste was somewhat tannin and somewhat acidic.
Ben Tre won a bronze at the Academy of Chocolate 2013 awards.
You can purchase Marou Ben Tre 78% online for $9.00 from Chocolopolis.