Info Details
Country Switzerland   
Type Semi-Dark   (72%; unconched)
Strain Ocumare   (Criollo group)
Source Venezuela   (Ocumare de la Costa Valley)
Flavor Sugar   
Style Old School      
Divina Pastora - statue of the Virgin with baby Jesus as patron saint of farmers in Venezuela. Locals deck the immaculate ones out, even dressing them in the haute coutere of elite fashion designers to joke that women in Venezuela sacrifice their best outfits for it. And the Christ child? OMG, in drag! (And is that a gang hand sign to his peeps?)

This bar an object lesson in chocolate processing. Unconched, barely mixed, a half-way house for chocoholics who can’t refuse. The power of Ocumare cacáo: whether Amano’s Nibs, this, or the ultra-finished Domori Puertomar, it’s a chocolate prince.

Peace be with you.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: mottled mahogany
Surface: some grain to it, slightly textural, micro pinholes... all of 'em lends character
Temper: semi-flat
Snap: shocking audible-integrity considering porous cake edge glinting w/ sugars
Aroma   8.8 / 10
thick nut butters (almond & gianduja) deli-countered by pickled brine incl a Dominican trade wind (picholine olives) -> green tomato & tamarillo -> rubber leather -> sour cherry -> girding cocoa & spice flints; possible signs of Ocumare 67 fermented high (or conversely conched low)
Mouthfeel   13.1 / 15
Texture: crystal dissolve...
Melt: ... on contact to signature full Ocumare body on melt-thru
Flavor   42.5 / 50
cherry fudge -> spice bread (clove, cardamom & molasses) -> sugar cane (its grass, juice, & bone char, the latter for what passes as depth) -> monkey pod pulp (Albizea saman), sidewalls of peat & button mushrooms -> white chocolate-rum
Quality   16.7 / 20
Sugar dominant, well beyond its 27 or so percent. A kind of cross between Neuhaus Occumare meets Felchlin’s Crudo technique (the S.O.P. of Taza). No-to-low conching makes it impossible for cacáo compounds to re-partition along the sugar surfaces. Without much sugar absorption, binding fails. Structure collapses & separates by its very nature as the non-integrated composition falls apart into surface level ramshackle. Consequently, this scrambles desperately for depth, never reaching it, always staying rather shallow.

Undeveloped, for sure, & as expected. Still, plenty of action onto this origin’s rep for hi-flavor cacáo - practically no violent volatiles at all. Good genes & a prime meridian roast see to that.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter

Reviewed Summer 2010


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