Cacao Sampaka, Single Origin Collection
A very generous chow friend gave me a sample of chocolates (choc paste coated with a choc shell) from their Grandes Origenes collection - a set of single origin chocolates; he got it in Barcelona, but there are branches of Cacao Sampaka in a few cities in Europe. See www.cacaosampaka.com
Overall, very high quality stuff, as good most single origin chocs I've had, except for the Domori Porcelena and Plantations Arriba. Given the tendency of unblended single varietals to be rather unbalanced, these were exceptional in that virtually all of the varietals had good balance of fruit, acidity, earth, woods, nut.
Great temper in the choc shell. Some tasting notes from my limited palate and vocabulary (note that my impression of the fruit components are not as detailed):
Ivory Coast- a wafting herbal flavour, perhaps hints of a green-tea like nuttiness, a nuance of malt
Venezuela - the characteristic rounded and ripe fruit, hints of milk coffee, nuts and prunes.
Grenada - a glow of caramel and dark raisiny fruit
Cameroon - malty toffee overtones
Madagascar - heavy on the fruit, a strong raisiny flavour
Papua - an earthy medicinal spicy flavour, deep fruitiness
Santo Domingo - a surprising ginseng-like flavour amidst the earth, fruit and nut
Ecuador - a solid blend of earth and wood rounded by a slim finish of fruittiness
Limster, I love their single varietal as well as their filled pieces (both the liquor version and the spice version). I always try to bring some home whenever I go to Spain. I was pleasantly surprised at how the liquor version transcended the typical liquor filled chocolate, not stupidly sweet or filled w/ridiculous booze. Great stuff.