Info Details
Country UK   
Type Dark   (71%; Batch #110010)
Strain Criollo   (predominance)
Source Nicaragua   
Flavor Naked   (generally, not specifically)
Style Rustic      
Nicotine... meet Nicaliso. Both can smoke. Both are habit-forming. And both were god-sends / sacred gifts to the world via the Amerinds.

A bar in which tobacco literally has cocoa’s back (as in tobaccocoa).
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: strawberry-umber (light umber with faint red cast)
Surface: if cleanliness is next to godliness, then this is Jesus’ mold: excessively clean
Temper: semi-flat
Snap: cracker barrel
Aroma   8.3 / 10
Stevie De Vries in the guise of the Marlboro Man riding in from Costa Rica: a li’l picholine (green olive, that is) -> major leather & wood -> sweat horse -> airs out tobacco & every form of it (leaf, smoke, nicotine)
Mouthfeel   11.2 / 15
Texture: loose & disaggregated
Melt: non-continuous
Flavor   47.4 / 50
chocolate laminated in ground cherry -> breadfruit with cream fill -> wild mamey sapote & canistel -> subtle spice (anise) develops into pepperleaf -> jicaro (the licorice-like Crescentia alata) yielding to tar ‘n nicotine -> lights up some soft woods (mostly Gliricidia sepium aka ‘blackwood’) -> total harmonic convergence of all the preceding into smoked golden berries -> pineapple -> blows out malabar chestnut -> simple cocoa ending (with trace metal at the edges)
Quality   17.8 / 20
Very fine. A chocolate chiropractor: deceptively simple tongue-twister of flavor turned into a rotator head bender.

Yet another from the heirloom cacáo-seeker Frank Homann of Xoco Cocoa whom Duffy Sheardown of Duffy's Red Star taps for his sourcing. The other that this duo teamed up on is the staggering Indio Rojo. Similar to that, Duffy can practically do no wrong with this bean. But unlike that, this is more genuinely endowed in the gene bank (royal awesomeness & an exemplar of how it might‘ve been pre-Columbian, before hybrids invaded the New World cacáo groves). Dr. Dapeng Zhang’s genetic analysis in 2011 turned up appreciable Criollo germplasm for this cultivar Homann calls Nicaliso. Thus so endowed that kids at play, completely oblivious, could do no worse. And that’s the point – Duffy must be having fun with this stuff.

Less deep-seated for sure, owing to its more reclined Criollo hertiage, versus the Indio which plumps the depths with its mostly Amazonian character. Still, this has a hi-CQ (Chocolate Quotient or baseline cocoa) all its own, plus a length to defy notions of any fragile-diva genotype.

Other than texture (which gives it that authentic Mesoamerican ‘bumps ‘n slumps’ felt on every bus ride throughout the region there [but with aromas this good it hardly matters]), a bar that exudes quality thru & thru.

Highly credentialed, beautifully configured, lightly creolized.

Pretty luxotic.

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

Reviewed May 2011


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