by Escazú
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Brut   (81%; batch 018)
Strain Carenero   (Criollo/Trinitario hybrid)
Source Venezuela   (Barlovento)
Flavor Crossover   
Style retro-American      
Just 2 little ounces; fits right into the chest-pocket; gives testament that it ain’t the size of the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog. This one’s got bark, bite & killer instincts.
Appearance   4.2 / 5
Color: pale for 80% class
Surface: could be shaken out better, riddled w/ pinholes
Temper: dense, fudge-like gloss
Snap: young handclap; beautifully sanded edge, nicely uniform
Aroma   8.8 / 10
condensed: black cherry in thick caramel-cassava paste to render tapioca -> exhales tobacco, arugula, & thyme -> setles down black raisin & asphalt
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: stiff / intransigent...
Melt: ... on the plus-side it’s elongated
Flavor   45.7 / 50
releases a torrent of choco-caramel followed by an alluvial flood of fruits (cherry skins & soncoya + purple plums) -> carcass of mystery bug meat attended by some sweet & sour effects ala Peking Duck dressed in savory greens & herbs detected in the Aroma -> tobacco as a condiment (slightly more tar than nicotine) laying back under mango & fuchsia juice -> the preceding intermixed into móle sauce spiced w/ coriander & cardamom + a whisper jet of frankincense -> deep charcoal-briquet hit of chocolate & granadilla-twist down the hatch
Quality   18.3 / 20
Insatiable. Exceptionally symmetrical top-to-bottom balance from attic-to-cellar of good breadth as well as depth rarely experienced in the single-region / single-varietal world nowadays.

Correctly calibrated in league with other Careneros from Richart (though phenols here translate into savory elements instead of bitterness) & Salgado (milder roast preserves the esters yielding perceived sweetness greater in this bar than its 19% sugar at the expense of more caramelized nuts from hotter Maillard Reactions). Kindred spirit to Rogue’s Hispaniola bar (different flavors but both rookies stir up a house móle of claustrophobic dimensions, so thick & concentrated they never slake).

From the appearances this could be another Mast Bros type of home kitchen production run on primitive equipment (Champion juicers, Santha grinders, & stove-top ovens).

Flavor likewise tastes home-made & that’s the beauty of it: rather unrefined (particularly the Texture) & lacking embellishments (no vanilla / lecithin make-up). It leaves well enough alone (even as it loses focus & clarity to become a bit bleary) to come full & true, getting all of the bean (which may scare some off as too tropical / wormy in its Domori-like sourness at points). Just cacáo & cane (cocoa + sugar) avows in this... from a micro-processor on a purist tip.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed Autumn 2009


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