One of my favourite bars of all time is the Friis Holm Chuno so it’d be interested to see what wondrous chocolate Duffy can produce with the Xoco sourced beans from the Valle de Pantasma which is either where a massive meteorite stuck the northern Nicaragua or lies within a valley of extinct volcanic mountains – either way it offers a wonderful setting for the growing of cacao. A small co-operative was set up and with the subsequent support of Xoco, some very interesting Criollo beans have been produced, with some of which have found their way into Duffy hands and which have been made into this limited edition 70% dark chocolate bar.
As with all of Duffy’s bars, the packaging is simple, undramatic and to the point. An interesting note with this bar is that he uses sunflower lecithin instead of soya lecithin to reduce viscosity and makes the chocolate itself easier to work with to produce the texture and finish most chocolate lovers crave.
I’ve never had a bar from Duffy that I haven’t fallen in love with as soon as the wrapper is removed. And this bar is no different. The shine is exquisite and has such a laid-back appearance with the shallow defining ridges and rich, stereotypical ‘chocolate’ brown colour. But it’s the flavour that will just blow you away.
It’s just so bloody good. Duffy mentions that the chocolate has a ‘complex mix of fresh hay, mellow red fruit and a roast chocolate after taste‘ and it’d be difficult to enhance that. For me it starts off like you’re standing next to a bottle of red wine, but not too close. You’ll get red grape aroma seeping off, it’s only just there and certainly doesn’t offer any form of bitter intensity. It then rolls gently into the chestnut which has the soothing properties of lapping, almost unrecognisable waves of Castle Harbour in Bermuda. There the water is warm and soothes your skin and this middle section of the melt is just like that – it the warm ocean amongst other beauty.
You’re transported into a slight bitterness which is present at the tip of your tongue. Here, the ‘hay’ description is most prefect. If you’ve ever walked through a straw field during late summer you’ll know that dry, oxygen absorbing atmosphere where the back of your throat struggles for air. That’s just present in the slightest of ways; it’s fleeting and temporary but certainly adds an interesting sensation.
This bar has to be my favourite of the year. It’s a shame that he has so few bars left, as it’s just fantastic and gets a quick rating of 92%. I can’t wait to try Duffy’s next bars …