On a side note, Arriba is my mother's favorite origin! Here are my notes from the chocolate tasting I held using Millcreek's bars, following my usual format: Appearance- Mostly matte, with some striations running through this bar (but not the other Ecuador bars, I wonder why? They're quite pretty) dark brown typical of Forasteros, very smooth surface. Snap- Solid snap. Texture- Some of the molding didn't break off when the rest of the bar did, which made the edge look interesting. Like the mint bar, this contains a few tiny bubbles, the grain is slightly rough (which may give extra body to the chocolate compared to a smaller particle size). Aroma- Beyond the obvious (raspberry!), the tartness of the raspberry seems to emphasize the oak note from the base bar (see my review there for more) and brings out a hint of kola and rosemary. The unique(?) proprietary method for air-infusing aromatics into chocolate transforms a weakness into a strength, and the balance here is just right: clearly, there's raspberry, and clearly, good chocolate! Melt- Slow start, but definitely less rough than the "pure" bar. Very smooth, in fact! Slightly stiffer than the "pure" or mint bars. Very nice! Flavor- Flavor- Raspberry, of course, and I'll get back to that. Surprisingly, the tartness of the raspberry brings out light notes like rose and whipped cream, but it also emphasizes the dark earthiness common in Ecuador bars in the form of petrichor (soil after rain). This hits all of the expected notes in an Ecuador bar with a few pleasant surprises to boot (see below). Flavorings- The raspberry is tart and sweet, and tastes very fresh. I am reminded of the berry stand near where I live which always has the best produce. I spent an entire summer breakfasting on raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries with my granola, and this takes me straight back to then! Although the raspberry note is quite obvious, it is also mellow rather than overwhelming, and sometimes it seems to fade for a moment and then swell back into prominence. The overall balance is like a chocolate raspberry cake, as described below. Finish- This bar's finish seems to have captured the essence of my family's standard cake: an almost-flourless, not remotely egg- or butter-less, chocolate torte that calls for a pound of chocolate (roughly 50% of the final mass, by my calculations!). We serve it with a raspberry sauce or fresh berries and freshly whipped cream with a hint of vanilla, and it is to DIE for. Everyone at my tasting and everyone who I shared this chocolate with were very favorably impressed by the whole selection. Keep up the good work!
Refreshing and pungent, this playful bar whirls with excitement.
Aroma-infused. No flavor is actually added in the bar.