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Chocolate Bars
Chocolate Bars
(67% cacao)

Madagascar 67% 
Percent Cacao67
Cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter.

cacao butter, cacao mass, cane sugar
Allergen Info
Made in a facility that processes dairy products, peanuts and/or tree nuts. 
Weight65g (2.3oz.) 
Size185 x 92mm  (7.3 x 3.6") 
Purchased FromPatric Chocolate  Columbia, MO 
Year Purchased2010 
Maker CommentsWith flavor ranging from juicy citrus and berries to red wine and a hint of almond, the cacao that I source from Madagascar is among the most delightful in the world. Through precise roasting, careful refining and use of only three ingredients, I allow these qualities to shine. 

After a very strong recommendation, and then subsequent investigation into this bar, I decided to get some to try. That isn't as easy as I at first presumed. While the owner attends school, the brand is mostly on hiatus and the shop is closed for normal daily business. But, Patric has won multiple 'best in breed' sort of awards in the field so I dug a little harder to figure out how to get some.

As it turns out, obtaining some is reminiscent of the subplot from a William Gibson novel. Chocolate is only produced once a month, and only four bar types are produced each time. You sign up for a mailing list and when Patric is ready to produce, they send you an email detailing which four bars it will be this time and the link to a web site where, for only a brief time, they can be ordered. Only when you get to the link is the price revealed. I signed up to be notified of future production 12 days ago. The monthly announcement email arrived 2 days ago. Following the link to the site I found that the price to me this time was $12 per 2.3 oz bar. The minimum order is four bars. So, that's $48 for 4 candy bars - just to get a taste - albeit best of breed. In addition, there is also normally a substantial shipping and handling charge added on to that. However, my mailing list conformation email offered a (generous) first-timer free shipping code for my initial order - so I could skate on that.

So by then my curiosity had become, to a person of my means, very expensive to resolve. Still, after some consideration, and knowing I would likely have future reservations, I took the plunge and bought them. I received an almost immediate purchase confirmation email letting me know that orders were usually fulfilled the following Monday. But, this morning (a Friday and two days later) when I checked my email I discovered that, sometime after the last time I checked it yesterday, I had received an email from Patric letting me know that, due to a break in the warmer weather, a brief window of opportunity to ship chocolate that would never become warm waiting in a delivery truck or plane had occurred - and that was too good to pass up and worthwhile hurrying the shipment for. Therefore, my order would arrive sometime tomorrow - which, at the point I read it, was already today. And, sure enough, it did.

I had been looking forward to trying some of this exclusive dark chocolate for a couple of weeks. Did UPS arrive while I was downstairs? Is there a package sitting on my front stoop - getting, you know, older? Nope, nope - not yet. Finally it arrived. Considering the lengthy build up, it might be fair to say that it would have been very difficult for it to surpass my expectation. I really intended to be taken to a different dimension: the sort of experience that would cause me to conclude that until today I had been naive and missing out. A realization that my previous notion of the length and breadth of the chocolate taste universe had been fretfully sophomoric and inadequate until now.

But, that didn't happen.

Don't get me wrong - this is a very good bar of chocolate. Actually, two bars. I ate a second one shortly after the first (they're small...). I expected a big, powerful, taste from these Madagascar beans. And it really doesn't have that. It's smaller, and more subtle and refined. I chew each piece about 85% without swallowing and then let it melt the rest of the way on my tongue as I swish it around. There is no astringency at all. The consistency is silky-smooth. For me, at first there is 'chocolate', and then citrus wells up out of that - which resolves to something like mandarin orange. That balanced combination of chocolate and orange hangs on my tongue for 30 seconds or so before it begins to decline. The orange fades away into citrus first, then the citrus disappears, then, finally the more traditional chocolate flavor. I don't get the berries, red wine, or almond that the packaging suggests - but that could just be the limits of my palate.

I've been surprised, with other brands I have tried, at how much difference there is between one bar and the next. I bought multiple cases of one brand I like and I had presumed that, coming from the same case, the bars within it would taste the same. But, I was surprised to find that they did not. There are differences between one bar and the next within the same box. I liked some bars much more than others.

This was not the case with these two Patric bars. They were identical in every detail. Of course, these were produced within just the last few days, the beans hand-sorted, the bars hand-molded and packaged, and the shipping was timed to favor the conservation of all the flavor they had been designed to contain. Considering all the effort that has been made to give each bar the best chance at excellence it can possibly have: maybe it should not have been surprising to me that there was no difference between them after all.

Ultimately, though, in spite of how much I enjoyed them, these bars did not take me to any place chocolate has not taken me before. This experience was not the revelation I was hoping for. Clearly, Patric has no trouble selling what it produces in spite of the high price and inconvenience in acquiring it. In a way, the difficulty makes the journey to obtaining it more romantic too. There is a certain je ne sais quoi to it. Like standing in line, at a moments notice, for the opportunity to purchase a limited drop of exquisite designer denim: just you and a select group of others in the know, while the rest of the world passes by all unknowing. Except that, for me, as good as this was, it was similar enough to other past purchases to make the expense and trouble questionable.

These bars were eaten 03/27/15. The packaging suggests that it be enjoyed by 03/15/16. I give them a solid 8.
Posted by John Ludlow on 27 March 2015     ID: 766
Vic's Rating
Deb's Rating
Origin  Madagascar
Republic of Madagascar (formerly Malagasy Republic) is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa.
Wrapper History
Vic's rating =         9  yum
Deb's rating =         9  yum
Vic's rating =         9  yum
Deb's rating =        8  

last modified: 18-November-2010 23:14:20   
ID: 641

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