March 2, 2011

Patric – Madagascar 67%

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Written by: Stuart Robson

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.

Patric's interesting, textured finish

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.



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