Alan Patric McClure is another key player in the vibrant chocolate movement currently building in the United States and has been since 2006. There are three Madagascan offerings in his range displaying the differences inherent to relatively small changes in cacao percentage. You could be forgiven for thinking that this 67%, being the lowest of the three, might be a bit on the sweet and subdued side but, while there is some sweetness on show, this is anything but subdued.
Georg Bernardini: 6-Jan-2012
|Supplied by:||The Meadow New York|
Patric is one of the newest bean to bar chocolatiers from the USA. I had the chance to taste some chocolates from him and in total he is making a very good job.
It is curious that he don’t print the cocoa¬†solid of his dark milk chocolate on the packaging. He fear a little bit that the customer in the USA don’ t understand a milk chocolate with 60% cocoa solid.
The bar is not so light as usual for Madagascar-cocoa. The finish of the moulding is very nice. No bubbles, mate shiny and with a nice¬†snap.
Aroma The aroma is on one hand typical for Madagascar cocoa, but on the other hand Patric reveal an unusually side of this cocoa. Mainly red berries and citrus fruits, but also molasses, raisins and light coffee. The light roasting flavours are very pleasant.
Directly with the first bite you can taste the powerfull¬†fruitiness¬†of the Madagascar-cocoa with a perfect balanced sweetness, accompanied from a light acidity.¬†In the mittle you taste molasses, raisins and light coffee. At the end you can taste again the fruitiness and the acidity comes back with a little bit tannin/adstringence.¬†You can taste very good the cocoa and it is great that Patric do not add any vanilla.
The melt is very fast and smooth, perhaps a little bit too fast.
When the chocolate disappears the¬†aroma of the cocoa and not only the chocolate taste¬†remain in your mouth.
This bars is hight end quality and a very good example of a good Madagascar-chocolate.
67% cocoa solid is almost perfect for a Madagascar cocoa. Only the high content of added cocoa butter could be reduced.
It is a soft, fruity and delicatd chocolate.
Alex Rast: 3-Mar-2011
Another very accomplished offering from Patric, although it must be said more adventures in non-Madagascar origins would be even more welcome. With various of the other chocolates in the Patric range he flirts with greatness without quite hitting the mark perfectly; the same applies here. What one feels is that here is a chocolatier who has clear understanding of and iron grip on process, but perhaps with a lack of vision – does Patric have clearly in mind the results he wants to achieve? Small quibbles though, this is terrific chocolate and provides proof positive that a new generation of chocolatiers is emerging (Amano, Patric, Red Star) who have the skills from the outset rather than having to develop them through time and experimentation.
An exceptionally light colour of the bar, out of the wrapper, is to be expected in a Madagascar origin, yet still this one continues to impress both with the almost milky brown and the very fine temper. Moulding is virtually free from faults, although the somewhat idiosyncratic slab format seems to be a deliberate discouragement to eating less than a full bar.
The aroma is powerfully fruity, mostly raspberry. There is an alarming cardboardy hint of nuts in the middle but then spicy, cayenne notes interspersed with hints of red wine eliminate any worries that this chocolate will be flat and uninteresting. Not surprisingly, perhaps then, the flavour is very fruity, starting with an interesting sweet-and-sour combination of blackcurrant and raisin. Then completely unexpectedly something totally different appears, a mix of cream and molasses mixed with coffee. It’s quite a shock contrast and while in general would work fine, here, leaves the palate a bit struggling to adjust. Interesting, yes, but not particularly logical. The finish, however, returns to normalcy with raisin reemerging, along with the signatures of Madagascar, woods and citrus, reassuring that all is right with the world.
It seems Patric keeps the cocoa butter down, for although the bar is exceptionally smooth, it is a bit dry in mouthfeel, making it that much more fortunate that the refining is so thorough. There’s a bit of a sense of lack of direction in the bar; it’s got a lot of interesting detail but one struggles to find a coherent picture in it all. But in the end the degree of interest of the individual pieces is sufficiently great that, overcoming any confusion, it manages to be charming. Now, if Patric can make some firm decisions over which attributes to keep and which to sacrifice, this chocolate should become one of the best Madagascars to date.
Stuart Robson: 2-Mar-2011
Under the bold and individual new packaging design is a bar of real intrigue; the colour offers the first clue. Madagascan bars can sometimes be quite light but this is more so than any other I have seen, a medium brown with soft hints of tan. The mould has left a textured surface but the finish is clearly very fine with a satin shine, no bubbling, some un-intrusive swirling and a clean snap.
The very light roast suggested by the colour is confirmed by a hugely intricate and forceful aroma. The sheer fruitiness is quite beautiful, firstly hints of guava and soft citrus with lime and tangerine at the fore. Some freshly fermented cacao notes entwine with the fruits, winey and slightly musty in equal measure; hugely evocative.
An initial floral sweetness unfolds first before¬†a measured rush of acidic grapefruit juice and white wine grip the palette. ¬†There is little more on show at this stage but it is sustained and with a compelling intensity. The sweetness returns in the mid palette and is joined by a wave of fresh lime cream and candied orange rind with a delicate lychee top note that is distinctive and simply wonderful. The melt is well handled and quite fast with minimal graininess but, being very critical, is perhaps a little fudgy. Moving into the finish the fruits make way for touches of toasted almond and fresh tobacco with restrained woody tannins building underneath.
A highly successful, seemingly lightly roasted offering from Patric and one that is very much to my tastes. The flavours are intense and well realised but, at this percentage, there is a certain softness to proceedings that helps to temper the acidity of the profile. ¬†There is a range of typically, fresh Madagascan notes on display here alongside some more unusual and interesting suggestions adding complexity and interest.¬† Highly recommended.