Do you like sour? This will be the bar for you. This might well be the sourest chocolate ever made – truly a mouth-puckering experience. There’s a positive and a negative to this. On the one hand, Domori has managed to capture the full force of the citrus characteristic of the Madagascar bean. On the other, perhaps capture with just a bit too much force. One may give Domori credit for achieving what is surely the most distinctive 100% chocolate on the market so far. But on balance, it can’t be said that Domori has achieved a successful interpretation – this bar is just too extreme in its characteristics.
Hans-Peter Rot: 19-Sep-2007
With no sugar to dilute the color, the purple bar appears almost as dark as night, while the surface looks typical for Domori: mottled and roughly done, but highly shiny as well, a contrasting theme courtesy of Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“low impactĂ˘â‚¬Âť processing. At 100%, the aroma seems more controlled and steady than the 70%, delivering a clear and awesome blackened scent of raisins and prunes with distinct highlights of molasses. It speaks with power and greater dignity than the feisty, more chaotic aroma of the 70%, suggesting perhaps that a better flavor is in store.
To a degree, there is, but ultimately the chocolate will knock you flat on your butt. The mouth literally puckers in response to the tartness, unable to ease tension until the length is completely over. On the flip side, however, this tartness adds a sweet dimension to the chocolate, making the stern and blackened flavor very palatable and sweeter than it actually is. Prunes and raisins are always present, unloading in torrents, along with a subtle acridness for a nice kick and added piquancy. Texture is thick and super creamy as expected for this class, and although it adds a refined touch to a rowdy flavor, it gets drowned by the sourness and ends up hardly noticeable in the end.
Domori has become a consummate fool at the craft of producing 100% chocolate, creating these bars solely for novelty and market niche rather than the cacaoĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s intrinsic qualifications. Based on this context, the sourness of this chocolate isnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t as surprising at it is expected, but its intensity remains overwhelming nonetheless, like a banshee screaming in your ears with a megaphone. Considering DomoriĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s processing standards (and possibly the nature of the cacao itself), this 100% is, in relative terms, their most balanced adaptation of Sambirano. The pungency and vinegary onslaught of the 70% is lacking here, with the only true offense being extreme sourness. If this is what you crave, though, hereĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s your bar, but for those that are easily put off by extremes, stay clear. This is a blinding chocolate, the most extreme of its type.
Alex Rast: 28-Jan-2007
Domori as usual does a good job with the bar’s presentation – it being virtually flawless aside from one small mark which is quite obviously a packaging artifact – it is the impression of the machine used to seal the wrapper. With its incredibly light colour, almost tan, one imagines this might even be a milk chocolate, but for the fact that this is typical of the Madagascar origin. Aroma is certainly typical of the origin as well, with a bright citrus up-front note accented with a touch of something floral, followed by a woody hint. Something roasty, reminiscent of nuts, peeks out every now and then from the background and a hint of currant sneaks in there. So far, so good.
In the tasting, however, things quickly veer to the extreme. There’s a strong creamy initial blossom, which seems good until all of a sudden it’s washed away in a sea of acid. An overwhelming flood of grapefruit fills the mouth, so sour as to be breathtaking. It even takes on the character of vinegar as it proceeds. There’s also something of the character of a very sharp cheese here. One is left in sheer shock, like being connected to a live power mains.
If the texture is superb, classic Domori not to mention expectable at 100%, it does little to mollify the stunned sense in which one receives this bar. Yes, citrus is characteristic of Madagascar, but might Domori not have done something to modulate that just a bit? As it is it is so overwhelming that it’s difficult to absorb or come to terms with. Those who are fanatical about sour tastes will probably like this chocolate, but others will probably end up taken aback. Domori may have had something of the right idea – to bring out the Sambirano’s keynote characteristic, but they were just a bit *too* successful, making for a bar that is a case study in overkill.