Bertil Akesson Jr. owns plantations in Madagascar, Brazil, and Indonesia and the flavorful beans he produces are in high demand by craft chocolate makers and chefs. Akesson's produces their own chocolate, too, as well as other fine products from these regions including pepper, vanilla, and coconut sugar.
Brazil Fazenda Sempre Firme 75%
Aroma: Figs, hammy, molasses, leather, tobacco, raisins, smoked meat, soy sauce, burnt rubber
Flavor: A lot of earthy flavors: wood, damp soil, leaves with tannin astringency – like walking through piles of leaves on an autumn day. Dark, complex sweetness, like burnt sugar and molasses. A mix of vegetal and other flavors: hints of dry spice, coffee, dried cranberry, rubber, grape, smoked meat, bit of a black olive bite. Some of the stronger notes verge on chemically. Slight acidity at the end.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. The flavors in this bar are rough and dark but nonetheless complex and interesting. Some tasters will find it harsh and unpleasant; those that enjoy the darker, more bitter notes in chocolate might find it a great tasting experience. It’s also a perfect bar to contrast with fruity, nutty, and more delicate bars to appreciate the broad spectrum of possible flavors. Even if it’s not your favorite, the unique flavor experience is worthwhile.
Batch info: Lot 18229, expiration date: November 30, 2019
Madagascar Bejofo Estate Criollo 75%
Aroma: earthy, soft
Flavor: Cocoa powder with a slight dustiness, soft red fruit, dried cherry, pear, orange peel, a little floral, nutty - raw hazelnuts, green seeds, flax, spices, cedar, toasted grains, mineral. Nice thick texture - slightly waxy from cocoa butter?
Recommendation: Recommended. Different than Venezuelan criollo but good. Unique.
Batch info: Lot no. 196742; Best by June 6, 2021
Madagascar Criollo 100%
Aroma: soft aroma
Flavor: slight astringency, toasted nuts, flax seeds, some sweetness, macadamia nuts.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Very mellow for 100%. Really nice
Batch info: Lot no. 196741, Best by June 30, 2021