Lâm Dông, Vietnam, 74%
I’ve been very excited to try each bar from Marou as I haven’t had much chocolate made from Vietnamese cacao. Their Lam Dong bar waltzes between being sweet on one side and roasted on the other. The bar is a good blend of both ends of the spectrum and there’s enough diversity here to nicely pull apart.
The bar itself has a fine grain to which is evident in its snap and in its mouth-feel. Breaking it gave a nice light snap and it sheared in places like sedimentary rock. This slight grittiness gives the melt a bit of dimension, and I can appreciate a bit of texture.
It’s aroma started off quite earthy but sweetened up considerably as time went by. It has a real dutch-process-y cocoa aroma, which is rich and earthy. Other aromas are a little shy but there are bits of coffee and deep caramel in there too.
The aroma doesn’t lie when it comes to the actual flavor. It’s intensely flavored of cocoa with strong dark roast coffee underneath it. It’s slightly astringent too, which gives it a bright start. As things mellowed out other more subtle flavors began to seep in. The acidic aspect starts to lean more towards raspberry yogurt in the middle and a slight chalkiness reminded me of skim milk powder and malt. There’s a slight dustiness to it as well. Once it’s run its course the cocoa flavor lingers in the mouth for quite awhile. After you think it’s gone you can run your tongue around your mouth and get the sensation you’ve just finished a good swallow of wine.
I’m excited for this brand and I’m excited for what Vietnam is going to offer the world of chocolate. If you’re a fan of strong cocoa powder-esque profiles it would suit you well. It’s not the most complex bar in the world to me but what it does do it does very well.
Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.