Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Dark   (70%; nearing Semi-Dark)
Strain Blend   (Nacional lineage)
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (+ Earthen)
Style Rustic      
Goes non-native & ushers in the ambiguous images of symbolist Odilon Redon...

Spirit of the Forest (1880)
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Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: fuschia brown
Surface: best of Kallari: minor chipping, overhang drop, but generally good & well vibrated
Temper: crushed vinyl matte
Snap: sharp as castanets; decent integrity along the break wall though w/ latent blooming
Aroma   8 / 10
receding forest: cocoa dust, tea, grass, & straw beneath big hardwoods -> opens to corn, cassava, & coffee -> rubdown shows blackberry then chocolate-jasmine + juneberry blossom farther downwind
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: initially resistent / unpliable, followed on by quick release
Melt: even but quite astringent (typical of Ecuador Nacional)
Flavor   38.7 / 50
rips open chocolate coriander -> swallows up fudge -> loganberry vanilla -> blackberry -> vanilla surging / blackberry sagging -> moves toward more neutral though dry, stringent cocoa & charcoal as numbing ibuprofen found in the 85 come fore w/o entirely blotting out the fruits (especially a return to loganberry) while denying other potential aromatics glimpsed in the scent -> palm & plantain -> Criollo cream in the aft-shaft along w/ more vanilla; catechins of herbal tea... the ever lasting FXs
Quality   15.6 / 20
Apparently the Kichwa / El Salinerito (the probable Ecuadorian manufacturer) really, really luv vanilla. Either that or in the brand marketing wisdom of their gringo taskmasters, the road to riches is paved with it.

Tuned way too vanilla-driven (crude but not all that rude), then lacks stamina caused in part by an anemic CBS (Cacáo Mass / Butter / Sugar ratio) of roughly1:3:2, a configuration that fails this bar, as 'rough' becomes the stuff once it progresses past those fruit hedonics up front which are spectacularly highlighted in its nearest sibling – the stellar 75 - deteriorating at the mid-palate, though the bean recovers enough poise to avoid complete disintegration.

This all points up that first impressions must be viewed very tenuously with Kallari, a newcomer whose consistency wildly varies in its initial releases & will take time to develop. Still, the co-op husbands a good stand of trees overall, & this vintage presents a crop that bodes well for future harvests.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, whole vanilla

Reviewed 9/2/09


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