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Rio Arriba 70

by Salgado
Info Details
Country Argentina   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain CCN-51   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Naked   
Style Industrial      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
The label on the back talks about ASSS which may look like someone’s big bottom behind but it stands for the acronym Arriba Superior Summer Select & it’ll put you on yours. This stuff has all the flight of, no, not the 2-part harmony of Seals & Croft singing Summer Breeze “makes me feel fine / blowing with the jasmine in my mind” but just “I Believe I Can Fly” Seal... out the window & smack on its butt landng before rolling over a suicidal face-plant.

Andy Warhol - hang him on the wall again: "death can make you look like a star".
Appearance   4.7 / 5
hefty 100-gram throwback
Color: sinister forbidden zone: pitch brown, purple, & black
Surface:
Temper: soft burnish
Snap: thick pour = big crack
Aroma   7.9 / 10
classic chocolate-on-chocolate: fulgent cocoa & oncidium sharry (wooded blossoms) bonded by a vanilla nut cream (peanut butter) -> stultifies into yucca & maize -> 3rd wind returns w/ gauzy jasmine essence
Mouthfeel   13.2 / 15
Texture: ease & roundness thanks to copious lecithin
Melt: metronomic
Flavor   32.6 / 50
foundational chocolate, darkly claustrophobic w/ brooding oncoming bitter -> sugar meets it head-on for brown molasses moment -> turns mealy (soy from lecithin) goes in the tank for cookies ala Oreo Venchi + a glancing Santander-like marshmallow -> burnt shadows come full fore carrying black tea -> Thai peanut sauce -> yucca -> red... is it fruit?... oh, so sorry, bitter red radicchio -> neural scent of jasmine bludgeoned into submission by roasted ash for kingdom come endtimes -> drains away plastic cocoa syrup -> coconut-peanut after-life
Quality   11.9 / 20
May as well be bulk-grade Ivory Coast because these beans were treated to a harsh beatdown. ”Arriba”/Nacional traditionally requires firm roasting yet this way overshoots the mark with automatic fire triggering an indiscrimate murder spree as if Luker were Salgado’s co-conspirator. Had to be north of 300 degrees fahrenheit for close to an hour. Was there anything worth sparing? Perhaps; though dubious, save for that fleeting jasmine. If this is the Superior Summer crop, what does the winter harvest have in store?

New era ‘chocophiles’ keep haranguing that the hybrid CCN-51, rampantly transgressing the groves in Ecuador, is actually quite good. None of that ‘quite good’ variety ever seems to make it to market though. We’ll possibly never truly know anyhow because farmers in Ecuador too often do a poor job fermenting & drying. This bar another reminder of how that country continues to slip on the downward slope of shoddy post-harvest practices intersecting dumb clones. A sham & a shame considering the treasure that was once & maybe still could be Ecuador.

For all the criticism leveled at Chloé Doutre-Roussel, at least her pessisism regarding cacáo genetics & conditions on the ground amid the growing fields is warranted here.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, soya lecithin

Reviewed 6/21/09

  

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