Info Details
Country France   
Type Dark   (75%)
Strain Cuyagua   (Criollo group)
Source Venezuela   (Aragua; Cuyagua)
Flavor Naked   
Style Old School      
Astronomist Chris Impey theorizes that dark energy differs from the cosmological “constant” of Einstein’s original equation in that it varies over space & time. If dark energy grows, Impey reasons, it’ll cause the universe to unravel in due course in a crescendo called The Big Rip. First galaxies, then stars, & finally atoms shall be torn asunder. Nothing can survive; its outcome a crushing finality.

Judging by the test of courage & strength in this bar to withstand the grip of the grim reaper -- a ghost of Cuyaguas past -- administering last rites before the tumbrel shuttles it off to the crypt, omnipotent chocolate might prevail even over The Big Rip.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: burnt orange pekoe
Surface: slick face / vigorous swirling on the air side
Temper: vanity kills... mirror mirror on the wall... a Pralus specialty
Snap: powerfully strong (over-tempered)
Aroma   8.4 / 10
first waft a thick toffee custard cut by spiced air -> underlying / undying wood / woad chip (the latter associated with indigo) hence blue fruit apparitions -> eventuates molasses + coffee
Mouthfeel   10.7 / 15
Texture: dry
Melt: vklumped (bizarre globs + lecithin expand inexorably outside the mouth)
Flavor   44.9 / 50
big-bangs it right in on roasted caramel -> mainlines smoked chocolate -> cinnamon -> cream fruit (biriba & abiu) w/ faint guarana & hibiscus at the edges... beaten down by baked brownies ‘n tonka bean hard on its heels -> amasses cocoa slurry -> blue apparition in the Aroma re-appears in an afterimage of blue chamomile
Quality   16.5 / 20
Cuyagua unlike Cuyagua (or least earlier releases of it from Amano’s blood-dripping-red fruits to even Choklat’s dismal rendering which flickered some highlights). This underserved in overprocessing.

With Pralus, flavor always balances on the roasting & this proves no different, the fire firmly branding the maker’s stamp on it. In keeping with his Venezuela 2008, his trademark torch just incinerates the fruits & nuts the origin has been noted for.

What a bean though: it takes the heat... absorbs & refracts it... leaving huge residuals of high CQ (Chocolate Quotient / baseline cocoa flavor), virutally zero bitterness, only minimal astringency & rather naturally sweet.

Not a great rep for Cuyagua Valley but a better cacáo, such as it is, because of it.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, lecithin

Reviewed December 2010


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