FLAVOR PROFILE: nuts ‘n honey, sparkling dark ‘brown fruit’ (raisins, prunes, dates); good acidity & mildly condensed tannins
CHARACTERISTICS: rather Amelonado-looking – small elongate pods bearing short apex, slightly rough but thin husk; changes from dark green when young to yellow upon ripening; small purple seeds inside
Referred to in some quarters by its political affiliation as Cacáo Nacional Boliviano (the “national” cacáo of Bolivia). More appropriately, & in sync with Bartley’s & Motamayor’s system of classification (i.e., by phyto-geography), it is named after the Rio Bení where it flourishes along a contiguous stretch of the river there… which is exactly why locals call it ‘Beniano’.
An inbreed of limited genotype, tests conducted in 2010 show the lower one goes on the Rio Bení, the more indigenous & wild the cacáo. Further, growing evidence suggests it originated here a very long time ago rather than being introduced from elsewhere. Additional importance lies in Beniano being Witches Broom-tolerant — a disease that’s one of cacáo’s mortal enemies.