Info Details
Country Austria   
Type Dark-Milk   (60%)
Strain Hybrid   (Abajo)
Source Ecuador   (El Oro)
Flavor Earthen   
Style New School      
Dear Herr Zotter,

Thank you for using common sense & demonstrating good judgment in refusing to release yet another standard bar to join the onslaught coming from Ecuador. By delivering this in an inventive Dark-Milk format, you spare legions of chocomanes the world over a misadventure of ‘ecua-bored’ proportions.

This El Oro is worthy instead of ‘Ecuadoring’ in the tradition of transforming golden earrings into a golden calf, then smelting it to scatter among the faithful.

God bless you, Josef Zotter, a true Samiri.
Appearance   4.9 / 5
Color: dark for even a 60% DM
Surface: perfect plate
Temper: glistens softly
Snap: shear strength; straight edge on the break
Aroma   8.4 / 10
slow roll caramel rubbing on milked cocoa butter -> generates salted toffee
Mouthfeel   13.3 / 15
Texture: super round
Melt: plodding
Flavor   40.6 / 50
swollen milk-lip rubbed in salt -> cocoa slowly / gradually mounts for that salted toffee in the Aroma -> goes littoral almost literally (oceanic / volcanic / grey sand beach) -> mineralizes thick mocha w/ floral (lavender-like) breeze -> lands on a gold strand of banana peel
Quality   17 / 20
Domori already proved the worth of Tyrolean dairy. This re-confirms it: strong cows ambling the mountainside there weigh heavily on the flavor. Salt more than vanilla blows it up even more, tipping the scales, the balance a little off as +/-20% sugar & 60% cocoa totter at its mercy.

Tough therefore to get a good look - despite a mild roast / short conche - onto the cacáo Abajo sourced from the UROCAL co-op in El Oro, Ecuador -- an old organization that keeps reinventing itself. Its strength was "Fair-Trade" / organic bananas (aren't they all in Ecuador?) but prices declined so cacao became the alternative.

The 4-day ferment indicates a hybrid of perhaps decent Nacional germplasm. For a more revealing glimpse, check República del Cacao’s unmilked 67% from the same micro-region.

A forceful (such as it is) MC, lots of staying power, whose elements come into play nicely, connected with Zotters 5-fold roller.

ING: cocoa mass, raw cane sugar, full cream milk pwdr, (17%), cacáo butter, vanilla, salt

Reviewed Autumn 2010


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