December 20, 2007

Askinosie – Soconusco – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Once the epicenter of quality in cacao, but now a place shrouded in history, Askinosie revives Soconusco and produces a superb looking bar. Temper and mold are as mentioned excellent all over, with only a single bubble on the backside and an uneven molding job all around. The color is dark but bright red, resembling Chuao in effect, but the aroma certainly does not. It’s mild and requires work to extract, showing a dark nature of cherries, raisin, and wood, which is very pleasant but just too mild by any standard.

In flavor, though, things pick up, starting with strong coffee and darkness that has Pralus written all over it. A dark roast has apparently been applied and to good effect, since proceeding is cherries and an undertone of wood, all of which are deep, subtle, yet bluntly evident like a deep bass timbre turned to a low volume. Texturally, the chocolate melts like a dream, just like a Valrhona bar or other high-end producer who knows what they’re doing.

Indeed, Askinosie knows what they’re doing as well, and they couldn’t have chosen a better style to resemble than the dark, brooding approach that defines everything under the Pralus banner. For a Trinitario, the bar has a remarkably deep flavor, reflecting the beans’ complex viability and resilience under the pressures of high heat. It’s a compelling foundation for Askinoise, presaging good things to come in the future, and as we see in the Del Tambo bar, Askinosie is not afraid to tinker with their processing. It seems, then, that this bar has simply been tailored according to what its inherent traits dictate, not personal preference, which shows signs of a responsive chocolate maker, adapting to the qualities of the cacao and not vice versa.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot


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