Info Details
Country Switzerland   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%)
Strain Blend   (Beniano; Criollo; Esmeraldas)
Source (Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador)
Flavor Sugar   
Style Old School      

‘Centenario’ marks 100 years of chocolate making by Felchlin & the company falls back more than a century on this one, reaching into the treasure chest of cacáo’s antiquity. A super-sumptuous blend of ancient strains prepared using Olde Worlde methods. Hence, the name ‘Crudo’.

Merely approaching it causes intimidation, followed by a cardiac arrest from an irremediable sugar attack & an aerobic meltdown (heart rate at 175 beats per minute, at least 85% capacity).

But nothing in life is to be feared, Marie Curie said, only understood.
Appearance   4.2 / 5
Color: uneven antique brown flecked w/ red oxides
Surface: imposing: solid monolithic blocks
Temper: oil stained
Snap: subsonic, flakes right off a crumbling wall... coarse / porous, pocked by airholes, sugar crystals
Aroma   9 / 10
a head-knocker of chocolate cognac: massive jungle of cocoa tang & bang explodes off dried plums slanting toward brandied prunes (Bení cacáo dominating the airways) -> dense fudge w/ raisins -> settles to spices of riberry (particularly coriander – warm nut wood & bergamot), vanilla musk, German chamomile, pita palm (to these factors add mushrooms, even more pronounced on the buttery rubdown); heavily gounded for the most part until it smokes out tobaccocao, roasted wood chips + hibiscus marshmallow root
Mouthfeel   13.2 / 15
Texture: crystallized micro-crunch, gently exfoliating w/ lots of air
Melt: oh so fast... creating short length w/ grits to the end
Flavor   37.7 / 50
flash tongue / rapid evolution: sugar cane cystals caramelize in, around, & thru cocoa -> peaks immediately at chestnut honey drops over sweet-spot prune -> distills maguey then black birch sap before down-climbing -> cashew to macadamia -> spice racked camomile, coriander, vanilla, & poppy seed -> kombucha darkens for chicory -> morel mushrooms -> marshmallow root taps down on balsa wood
Quality   15.3 / 20
Among the finest seed selection from cacáo’s genetic warehouse go into this bar's composition: Esmeraldas, Maracaibo SdL (or is it the elusive Guasare Criollo nearby?) & the semi-wild cacáo silvestre from Bení (the source for Felchlin’s renowned Cru Sauvage) without which this Crudo would just mean ‘crude’.

Even so there’s no escaping the relatively unconched sugar crystal lattice, obstructing underlying flavors like so much dross, making this a far sweeter sensation than just a 30% ratio. And these benign beans further compound the sweetness level.

Taste stacks with little integration, somewhat expected with little conching, although hardly to such a degree, indicating only gentle refining in the mixer as well – a risk taken with what’s essentially an incompletely-blended blend. What it lacks in cohesion it then attempts to compensate for with balance but, here, again, the blend feels overly harmonized beneath all that sugar to which it succumbs from the start.

Nonetheless, lots of latent chocolate wonder can be gleaned thru the crystal sugar glass just waiting to be unlocked.... in Centenario Concha.


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