Chocolate Tasting Success!
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- Minor pitting to the surface, likely due to bubbles. Slightly more glossy than the "pure" Arriba bar, still the dark brown typical of Forasteros, very smooth surface. Snap- Reserved pop. Texture- Contains a few small and some tiny bubbles, the grain is still slightly rough (which may give extra body to the chocolate compared to a smaller particle size). Aroma- Beyond the obvious (mint!), the freshness of the mint seems to emphasize the leather and cherry notes from the base bar (see my review there for more). 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 mint, and clearly, good chocolate! Melt- Slow start, but perhaps less rough than the "pure" bar? Still bends very easily, and yet still has a solid core when bitten. Very nice! Flavor- Mint, of course, and I'll get back to that. As expected, the freshness of the mint brings out earthy notes like leather and nutmeg, but it also emphasizes fruitiness of Ecuador's trademark cherry notes and brings out a hybrid earthy/fruity hint of pipe tobacco (I don't smoke, but if I did...) This hits all of the expected notes in an Ecuador bar with a few pleasant surprises to boot (see below). Flavorings- , The fresh and well-balanced addition of mint (not overwhelming, in fact rather mellow, perhaps like mint tea) demonstrates the potential of Arriba beans for use in confectionery as well as pure, delicious chocolate! Finish- Mostly mint and cherry. Lasts long enough that if we didn't have palate cleansers handy, we would have had to postpone the rest of the tasting! Lovely balance here, as in the rest of the experience. 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!