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Info Details
Country Bolivia   
Type Brut   (85%)
Strain Beniano   
Source Bolivia   (Alto Bení; Agua Clara)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Rustic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
A Bolivar of a cacáo, wearing a purple heart
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: signature Bolivian: dark purple anthocyanins branded into brown
Surface: hockey puck of a disc
Temper: matte
Snap: giant; phenomenally fine-sanded edge
Aroma   9.1 / 10
tannic-tang attack right out of the wrap: very cutting cacáo-phenols spill all over the canvas, commingling w/ sharp black fruit esters -> streams cocoa from there... for miles -> aerates fuchsia
Mouthfeel   13 / 15
Texture: supple (w/ a little lift from lecithin)
Melt: highly even
Flavor   45.4 / 50
plum chocolate & chocolate plum... then brandied -> dark force fruits (prune + fuchsia) before amazon grape (Pourouma cecropiaefolia) pours on a purple rain -> mushroom underside (black truffle & some fungi unknown to science) -> arouses tolerable bitterness on the edge of lead... splashes molasses against stone -> dirt -> black coffee -> rights itself: spice sassafras & pink peppercorn -> sluices away thru plum-coffee cake
Quality   17.8 / 20
Technically a “drinking chocolate” but when does that stop any chocolatarian from biting in?

Less refined by European standards (nowhere near the precise conching) so the bean comes thru relatively unfiltered. Yet it’s not unrefined either... by any stretch. Instead, a cacáo endowed with nobility. Like the blackness of it all – from the fruiting topsoil to the finest-tasting dirt on Earth. Hard to convey just how close this comes to the edge of insurrection, then beautifully maintains its balance in awe.

High fat-content keeps chaos in check to maintain control (especially against that bitter), though quite trim next to obese faux-Bruts like Marcolini’s Fleur or Chocklat’s Ocumare.

True, there’s that moment the bar hits a wall – lecithin probably contributes some – eerily similar to the mid-palate breakdown in De Vries’ 80% from the same area, but this stays brave & continues to find its way.

85% confirms what’s been self-evident ever since Felchlin released the meager percentaged Cru Sauvage (great, such as it is) from down river in Bajo Benì: Boliviano, that little pod with tiny purple seeds, is quite a benign type & tolerates higher cacáo-content exceedingly well.

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

Reviewed Spring 2010

  

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