Info Details
Country Italy   
Type Flavored   (Hazelnuts; Dark 67%)
Source Venezuela   (?)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Classic      
Criminally delicious. Bessone, Homo rapien. Before any authorities get the wrong idea, it’s all good, completely consensual (after it’s over, that is) like 2 good friends just violates the senses with XTC.
Appearance   5 / 5
Color: golden hazelnuts marooned in dark brown
Surface: a brick-mold, studded / spiked w/ whole filberts; dropping this onto a passerby from any 2nd story window will surely get their attention
Temper: museum glass
Snap: w/ a pour that thick it's bound to be an ear-splitter
Aroma   7.9 / 10
beyond the obvious caramelized hazelnuts & streaming vanilla, a witchy stew of hashish, malt, wafers, ale, sawdust, ox musk -> drop of soursop + chalcedony on cocoa stone -> thin metallic streak (ethyl methionate) then oxalic acid -> ultimately goes green on palm frond & red on dragon fruit
Mouthfeel   12.7 / 15
Texture: a jawbreaker – grit, grains, crumbs, & chunks, this thing’s got it all...
Melt: quarrlesome as massive nuts collapse about lecithin-waxed smoothness
Flavor   46.4 / 50
red chocolate (dragon fruit, cherry, rhubarb) -> hazelnuts -> stone elements followed by good minerality cutting thru bitter tobacco leaf... & thingsare just starting to get interesting -> natural latex / rubber bouncing off chicle gum -> almond meal at the confluence of chocolate-filberts, their combined roast just smokes the tobacco -> more undying reds -> oils take over w/ hazelnut & cocoa butters rubbing against each other for a major cacáo-wow lasting for... eons
Quality   18.6 / 20
An experience: the Textural conflict, the Flavor vertigo, the reverberating length... on & on. Bessone knows his hazelnuts (supposedly grows his own crop on a family-owned grove in the hallowed Langhe section of the Piedmont) & he’s gradually getting a handle on cacáo too.

This very much in line with the Nej piece from his Boxed Chocolate collection but here with added brute force. Cacáo's phenols & esters on even greater display, rendering a darker patina than 67% suggests.

Besides being the capital of Venezuela, ‘Caracas’ in the 19th Century was a trade-name for a cacáo variety (albeit loosely-defined -- basically the entire coastal Venezuelan growing region) of esteemed quality. This, then, a very worthy bar to wear the title & inherit the legacy. It deserves a place on the mantle alongside other world-class constructs like Infernale by Pralus and Corallo's Gran Kru

ING: cocoa mass, whole filberts, sugar, cacáo butter, soy lecithin, vanilla

Reviewed Autumn 2009


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