Stuart Robson: 16-Feb-2011
The Brothers from Brooklyn made quite an impression recently when I tried and loved their Madagascan offering, and as such hopes are high when it comes to this bar. That being said I do tend to enjoy Madagascan bars and have had mixed feelings where the Domincan Republic is concerned, sometimes finding the region offers enjoyable but undemanding chocolate.
The colour is strikingly dark and brooding, with the Mast Brothers unbranded mould, slightly uneven, with the typically rustic and charming finish. In contrast to that is the lustrous shine and clean, sharp snap.
On the nose the bar is just as direct and sharply focussed as the Madagascan was but with a very different profile. Fresh black cherries dominate the aroma with hints of dry top soil. There is a noticeably alcoholic leaning reminiscent of Fino sherry and/or un-aged grain spirit and perhaps the faintest touch of coffee. No great complexity but what is there is displayed with such striking clarity that it more than makes up for it.
On the palette there is an initial burst of slightly astringent acidity and a brief hint of redcurrant before a wave of forest fruit builds with each passing second. There are bold, intense black cherries soaked in Kirsch alongside blackberry with an earthy, roasted cacao undercurrent to the whole profile. The finish brings a second burst of cherry liqueur twinned with woody touches and firm tannins. As with the nose there isnâ€™t great complexity but the flavours as so defined and articulate, at times the bar could almost be studded with cherries, which seems to be a hallmark of the Mast Brothersâ€™ work.
The texture is as expected, dry and rather grainy and of course in line with the way these bars are produced. Such a mouth feel will inevitably divide opinion but in my view, for what itâ€™s worth, I am more than happy to endure a few textural sacrifices if it is in the pursuit of flavour.
Another excellent bar then and in a clearly defined style that seems to have more to do with slaving to the beans than it does in chasing a particular profile. With such an uncompromising hand in production and an equally uncompromising intensity in flavour, these bars wonâ€™t be for everyone but those who love them will chase them tirelessly