Mast Brothers – Dominican Republic 74%


Reviews

Stuart Robson: 16-Feb-2011

Posted: February 16, 2011 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 9 10%
Look/snap: 8.5 5%
Taste: 9 35%
Melt: 8 5%
Length: 9 15%
Opinion: 9.5 30%
Total/100: 90.75 100%
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Source: Own purchase
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

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 isn’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 Brothers’ 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 it’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 won’t be for everyone but those who love them will chase them tirelessly



About the Author

Stuart Robson
Stuart Robson is a passionate foodie born in Scotland and based in Hertfordshire whose main expertise lies in the world of whisky and chocolate. He first began tasting fine chocolate in 2005 with Valrhona Manjari and has since developed a particular interest in single origin bars and a desire to highlight skilled cacao farmers and artisan producers all over the world. Stuart previously trained in Paris while working for a fine chocolatier, and has since become a reviewer for Seventypercent. He is still involved in freelance consultation for small companies working with bean-to-bar chocolate producers and chocolatiers.