Info Details
Country Spain   
Type Dark   (w/ light break; 71%)
Strain Criollo   
Source Mexico   (Xoconochco)
Flavor Naked   (some Fruits/Flowers)
Style Rustic      
Xoconochco, Mexico lives on in the memories as the ancient holy cacáo groves lost to Spanish conquest, overproduction, disease, & the ensuing recombinant hybrids & clones. The search continues to somehow revive its former glories.

In the way that hip-hop samples & re-makes tracks from the past, this bar combines the sliced & sampled rhymes of poesies Mary Oliver & Anne Porter. Take it to the break, girls: show more »
Appearance   4.7 / 5
Color: darkest umber (C’vic doing what it does most – roast)
Surface: well-molded; slightly opaque (big butter?)
Temper: semi-matte
Snap: good pour... strong, firm, ready for action; ditto integrity on the break-wall
Aroma   8.4 / 10
roast-aroma, the Xoconochco treat, beyond the flames of Troy & Carthage... diesel & avocado-fat fire-up smoked wood kindling (balché bark) roasting breadnuts & breadfruit wrapped in banana leaf -> airs out to a beautifully kind cocoa supported gently by leather & a column of tobacco to a breath of white sapote, fig, & black raisin
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: hard tack (butter outsourced to a tougher origin?)
Melt: protracted
Flavor   44.1 / 50
cherry suppressed then sublimated by balché & cocoa woods which instead flavor breadfruit... only to reappear as a twist of Mexican ground cherry (shades of strawberry / tomato) -> spiced chocolate (cinnamon, achiote + vanilla [none added]) -> nance & a little cream-cheese factor in tandem w/ earlier breadfruit combine for light Cinnabon™ -> reaches good depth w/ morel mushroom -> late but sweet white sapote onrush -> fresh mangosteen; balché bark hits again in the aftermath... a deep forested chocolate close
Quality   17.8 / 20
C’vic applies its trademark heat to these beans, & to good effect. Otherwise, these tannins would be so meek that it’d be taste-buds feeling exhausted & burnt-out.

The net is strong constancy, hi-CQ (Chocolate Quotient or baseline cocoa flavor free of any nuances; though far from the cleanest naked cocoa flavor around) with enough depth & bitters well-cuffed in butter so the bar never loses stamina.

On the downside: precious few peaks, mostly a rolling contour of fruit compliments (again, roast & butter) that do travel nicely from red to white tones, plus an appreciable conche, as well as a crop that comes more consistent / less irregular than Askinosie’s rather biting release from the same general region.

The bet is that C’vic probably confined its search where Askinosie pulled variegated beans from a wider area, & it shows in the streamlined nature of this bar (dangerously close to unexciting) that makes the manufacturer’s claim of Criollo (probably overheard along with ‘Trinitario’, ‘Forastero’, & ‘Ceylan’ among gauchos whispering to themselves while cutting the deal with pinche gringo in the backyard cacáo jumbles of Xoconochco) at least plausible if not altogether credible.

For the real deal, check Bonnat's haul from Xoconochco.

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

Reviewed Spring 2010


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