It always feels right to me that Mast Brothers Chocolate has the name that it does, for almost every Mast Brothers Chocolate bar that I’ve tried and reviewed has come to me courtesy of my spectacular brother, E.TeacherLord (excuse me for a moment: ain’t no thang; add a drop of lavender to your milk, leave town with an orange, and pretend you’re laughing at it; DON’T CALL ME FRANKLY).
Hey look! It’s my brother and me, many moons ago. I wish we still wore matching beanies.
Mast Brothers Chocolate + Cocoa Nibs
It seems that, in the Brooklyn-based world of the Mast Brothers, 72% dark chocolate + cocoa nibs = complicated knots. Here is what this packaging makes me think of: nooses, sinister things, convicts, ships, science, snakes, scurvy, rope burn, rope burn during evil P.E. in high school, jester hat, laughter.
Laughter is good. So is:
The cocoa beans for this bar were grown in Madagascar, and then “roasted, cracked, winnowed, stone-ground and aged in Brooklyn”.
Just so you know, if I have a daughter in the next year (hah! A likely story), I’m going to call her Winnow.
Where was I? Oh yes. This bar is made of only three ingredients: cocoa beans, cane sugar, and cocoa nibs, all of which are organic. When I finally stopped pondering the names of my future children (hah! the names of my future pet lemurs, more likely), I took a moment to breathe in the aroma of this chocolate and was astonished at the scent of red wine that hit me, followed by some raspberry and maybe a little port.
This 72% dark chocolate with cocoa nibs was a slow starter in terms of flavour, beginning with little then slowly showing a hint of earth, smoke, wood, and brown sugar. Then, just towards the end, the chocolate burst into delicious notes of clotted cream, dark cocoa, and a bit of pear and burnt caramel. The roasted nibs on top contributed an intense charcoal chocolatiness, as they’re wont to do.
The sweetness is very restrained in this bar, and as a result the nuances of the chocolate come to the fore. As I finished my little plateful, I wondered if I could get away with telling you I tasted melted butter, pumpernickel bread, red wine, and molasses.
Or maybe I should just say this was a rather fine, though slow-to-develop, specimen of brotherly chocolatey goodness.
Question Time: If you have a brother, what’s the best present he’s given you lately? If you don’t have a brother, then why is the sky blue?