Info Details
Country Austria   
Type Dark-Milk   (60%)
Strain Blend   
Source Nicaragua   (La Cruz del Rio Grande; Don Francisco)
Flavor Naked   (for a Dark-Milk)
Style Old School      (vibe)
Coffee has cans from Juan Valdez; wine – tanks of Robert Mondavi; the tea-baggers, Mr. Lipton. Even the humble rice staple puts up an eponymous front (Mr. Ben’s). Syrup: Aunt Jemina. Burgers: stacks of Wendy’s, The King, & old McDonald’s.

Chocolate? Meet Don Francisco.

Francisco Manzanares Alarcón tends to a 3.5 hectare plot in La Cruz del Rio Grande. Cacáo is his quarry. According to Zotter, ‘The Don’ brings all of his 76 years to the craft with just the right wisdom, including this chocolate manifesto: bullet-proof quality means no compromises.

Did something get lost in translation?

A bar as conflicted as a man's life (chocolate, unfortunately, can sometimes be that way).

Beware: in order to set the path on which others walk, the next generation must be willing to follow in those footsteps.
Appearance   4.3 / 5
Color: neutral brown
Surface: really smug-looking
Temper: wavy gravy
Snap: a smuggsta
Aroma   7.1 / 10
hard-cheese / soft-wood interspiced w/ cocoa
Mouthfeel   11.4 / 15
Texture: some chew to it
Melt: plodding gumshoe
Flavor   36.7 / 50
biting tannin barks straight up that Aroma tree (Madre negro aka blackwood) -> decidedly dark cocoa accented by salt then softened in milk -> molasses-anise toffee roll over chalk -> peanut skin & hickory nut shadowed by those opening tannins -> banana peel
Quality   15.4 / 20
Whereas Zotter’s Nicaragua-50 pops out in diverging from its bland parent & outclasses the field, this reverts back into it... to be somewhat expected considering the 10% differentials in cacáo-content between the trio.

Gutsy but few highlights with very little lift; a rather brooding downcast, even melancholic affair, reinforced by that lethargic Texture. 20% sugar count fails to it cheer up. And while dairy exerts influence, it too falls bowed to this cacáo’s humble DNA, taking on the countenance of a passive cow set out to pasture. Salt then gives length if not life.

ING: cocoa mass, raw cane sugar, full cream milk pwdr (16%), cacáo butter, vanilla, salt

Reviewed Autumn 2010


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