Q’eqchi, USA, Guatemala, 70%
Parliament’s Guatemalan Q’eqchi blends dark bitterness and candy-like berries together. The sweeter side of this bar is intense and I think it’s the bar best feature. It’s also where I think the best flavors are.
Parliament’s graphics have a traditional bend to them and the chocolate feels appropriately rustic. It’s a little suede-y to the touch and a little silty to the tongue. It smells sweet and just a little bit acidic. Like how some types ciders or kombucha are a bit sweet and sour. In this case think “kombucha candy”. In other words: it smells awesome.
This is another one of those bars that opens up differently depending on how you approach it. If you let it melt the flavors mingle together for more of the time you’re eating it. If you bite it however the bitterness doesn’t really approach until the end. Whichever way you go you’ll find flavors close to strawberry and those sweet mini-mandarins or orange blossom. Fruits and sugar can ratchet the other up pretty quickly in an arms race of high notes. This doesn’t overpower but it is very, very sweet.
But there is bitterness too and it’s dark, green and charred like some espressos seem to me. I found the bitterness hung around a bit too long in the aftertaste. Though I also like putting that vanilla sugar and cream in my coffee so my opinion on coffee is pretty suspect.
The bars sweetness reminded me of some French makers – like Cluizel – though it had a more casual feel to it overall. It’s a bar with a lot of intensity for its smaller footprint.
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.