Patric is another of the new wave of American chocolate manufacturers emerging in large numbers. While
some are very experimental indeed, Patric appears to know what they’re doing and produce quite fine
chocolate. The Madagascar will be an origin that surprises no one, but where again, it is interesting to see
the effects of another interpretation. Like a lot of the new chocolatiers, eschewing both lecithin and vanilla leads to a very pure chocolate, which should reveal the origin’s qualities most distinctively. The critical question will be whether this bar offers something fundamentally new in a crowded origin.
Alex Rast: 6-Feb-2011
Here is another of the new wave of American chocolate manufacturers, who seem to be coming on very strong and showing
evidence of careful research and experimentation before starting production. Patric establishes here a style with affinities to
Domori, but with a more subtle slant, which will appeal to those looking for something different yet not overly challenging. This
bar certainly captures all of the typical notes of a Madagascar, but with a sufficient injection of style as well to make it one
of the few bars that achieves a nice balance between a display of style and an exposition of the bean’s “intrinsic” qualities. Still,
it’s not quite a perfect job yet: there is obvious potential for improvement, to be expected, perhaps, of a still-young manufacturer.
On the whole this may be the most promising new U.S. chocolate-maker since Amano.
Patric’s bars don’t quite have the stunning visual appeal of the most style-conscious chocolate manufacturers, but nor are they
hastily made or rustic in appearance, so on the whole the bar looks somewhat similar to current versions of Scharffen Berger bars:
well-moulded and tempered, but with a bit of detectable swirling and unevenness. Unlike the unassuming appearance, however, the aroma is bold and distinctive, pungent with cedar and woods, along with hints of soy sauce and cayenne, a very spicy presentation
much like Domori. It certainly gets the nose going and speaks of fairly intense fermentation.
Nonetheless, the ferment doesn’t overwhelm the flavour, all the characteristic Madagascan attributes appearing prominently. The initial flavour is the expected citrus, which then shifts to a slightly different but even more pleasant currant with cream, in what appears to be a subtle and well-conceived modulation of the bean’s characteristics. Next it progresses towards more of a woody taste, in keeping with the aroma, but here complemented with molasses, which works to distract from any potential jarring tannic sensation. Additional spicy hints emerge, although not nearly to the same level as in the aroma, which is perhaps a bit of a disappointment, as is a rather bitter finish, slightly reducing the appeal after a nice overall display: like a great concert with a perfunctory and uninspired encore.
Melt doesn’t present any problems with an impressively smooth and very creamy texture that doesn’t distract. One feels, in fact, that this is a bar knocking on the door of greatness; all it needs is to eliminate that bitterness in the finish and replace it with spiciness. Still, that’s not much to complain about, especially from a new producer, and Patric appears to be on the way to success. It’s particularly
nice that they’ve managed to display their own unique style that explores a slight gap in the flavour space: that for the subtle spicy style. Already they are showing all the signs of excellent control and with just a bit of tweaking this could well be one of the best
Madagascan chocolates in the world.