Tonight’s meeting was a follow up to December with a second tasting of most of the Pralus we could not taste last month because he offers too many bars for any one meeting. As it is there are still two bars we have not tasted.
After much debate about how much chocolate anyone can taste in an evening before hitting total saturation we have arrived at 6. And some think it could be 5. For the time being we’ll hold to 6.
There were 10 members in attendance. Leonard, Carrie, Mark, Gloria, Ken, Michael, Joan, Ralph who is back after a year’s absence, Jesse, and Penny.
These are the bars we sampled, all 75% cacao, in the order of how they scored:
1. Tanzania, Forastero.
2. Jakarta, Criollo Trinitario.
3. Java, Criollo, Trinitario.
4. Indonesia, Criollo.
5. Sao Tomé, Forastero.
6. Dominican Republic, Trinitario.
The Tanzania got a high 9.5 from Ken, plus two 9s from Michael and Jesse. The lowest score was a 5 with a couple of 8s in between.
The Jakarta got a 9.5 from Lenny (he gave the Java a rare 10). Gloria gave it a 9. The other scores fell into the 7 and 8 range with a low 4 from Jesse who found this bar bland. The low scoring Dominican Republic was largely faulted for being too sweet. It’s highest score was a 7 from Gloria who found it to have a good crisp break with a flavor of menthol.
Everyone was surprised at the range from this selection of 75% bars. The Indonesian was the strongest bar and could almost pass for an 85% or 90% with a strong tarty, some thought bitter, even acidic finish.
Even though Java came in third several thought that it was compromised from being entirely wrapped in cellophane.
We have always wanted to score packaging but in the raucousness of the evening we usually forget. This is such an important component of the experience, even though we don’t feel it affects the tasting. Tonight we remembered. Pralus comes out at the very top. Handsome, simple and tasteful design.
Tonight we took care of some very important business. After all these years we finally distributed club membership cards. Now there is no more doubt among friend and acquaintances, no more false accusations, “Your in what! Impossible!” We can simply whip out our card and everyone falls silent.
Leonard, being founder of the club, presides over the meetings and has the grueling task of keeping order which is not easy given the loquaciousness of so many. To aid him he has a bell at hand which he rings vigorously whenever the group gets too rowdy and unfocused. Last month someone in the group sneakily hid the bell when Leonard was not looking. This was a cause of great consternation. Accusations flew in all directions. Just as mysteriously as it disappeared, it reappeared. Accusations continued to fly.
Tonight Leonard was especially careful, but to no avail. While the bell remained on the table right in front him, someone not only sneakily, but most cleverly made off with the bell’s clapper. Leonard was most flummoxed when at a moment of group hilarity that would not stop, he raised the bell to bring order to the gathering and got a weak tinkle from the piece of wire used to secure the clapper that was left in the bell. Then mysteriously the clapper returned. Leonard was doubly flummoxed. He is working on a plan to insure that these depravities do not occur again.