Duffy’s Panama Tierra Oscura Panama 72%

Duffy's Panama Tierra Oscura Panama 72% Packaging

For me chocolate reviewing is a process of discovery. From a blogging point of view it’s about putting together the jigsaw pieces of a chocolate maker to build the bigger picture of who they are and what they do. I may have loved every bar that Duffy has produced, including is 70% Panama bar, his 70% Peru, the 72% Ecuador as well as his Ecuador milk chocolate bar, but now it’s time to try something a little bit special.

Duffy's Panama Bocas del Toro Island 72% Bar Shine

It’s a huge thrill to try some chocolate from Colón Island which is off the north-western coast of Panama which has a capital of Bocas del Toro. The problem I have is that there’s not a great deal of information about the island to pass on, all I can say is that visually it looks green and lush with only slight elevations, so I’m not exactly sure how it fits the archetypal cacao growing environment.

Visually the bar continues Duffy’s new trend of the more simplistic designs with a warm vista of what I expect is a fishing scene. The aroma, however, isn’t warm and spicy. Instead I’d call it cool and soothing – almost a cold gooseberry edge. There is definitely edge of acidity, but nothing overwhelming. Certainly a green, under-ripe tone is carried through the nose which is most certainly a welcome departure from the aromatic, tobacco and woody notes that are often present in the more natural bars I review.

Duffy's Panama Bocas del Toro Island Dark Bar Close Up

This is where the packaging is representative of the bar. The flavour certainly is warm and is very much reminiscent of steak au poivre with a strange crème brûlée. Yes I know that’s strange and you all think I’m mad – but I have to describe the flavours that first come to mind. The undercurrent of the flavour is definitely of a spicy character whilst up above there’s a creamy, slightly sweet edge that works so well together. There is a touch of cedar wood acidity which just lurks in the background, but I’d say it’s there to remind you that you are actually eating chocolate and not some sort of mythical, biblical creation of temptation.

Texture of the Duffy Panama 72% Dark Chocolate Bar

The texture is sublime beyond belief. Incredibly smooth, a fast melt which just gives so much pleasure as it evaporates into your nasal cavity. Sometimes I do love a bar that is just as soft but with more caramel notes, but this has just a bit more zip that I previously thought was my ideal bar. This means that I have to have a re-think of what the ‘perfect bar of chocolate’ would be. And that’s the whole purpose of exposing yourself to remarkable chocolate.

Where To Buy The Duffy’s Tierra Oscura Panama 72%
  • Red Star Chocolate – you can normally buy them direct, but I can’t see them on his website.
  • Chocadores – I can’t see them on Sarah’s site either. This is a new bar though.
  • Taste: 95% – a truly fantastic bar of chocolate that offers a new dimension of dark chocolate.
  • Texture: 98% – a delightful melt
  • Appearance: 90% – obviously Duffy can’t compete with Beschle who spend a fortune on their packaging, but the wrapping is fantastic and the shine exquisite.
  • Nutritional Information: n/a% – there’s not really a great deal to write about. It’s a natural bar (with a touch of sunflower lecithin.
  • Price: 90% – I can’t remember how much I paid, but I think it was around the £3.50 mark. It’s still great value.
  • Overall: 93.25% – a terrific experience. Not to be missed.
Nutritional Information:
  • Cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin

Lee McCoy

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