Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%)
Strain Nacional   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (primarily)
Style Old School      (flavor-wise)
Nubé stands for 'cloud' in Spanish or in this case a reference to the cloud forest in Ecuador under which cacáo may rise along the hillsides.

It might as well refer to the some long lost Nubian Princess drifting in from another continent. A scent as foreign nowadays as Francisco de Orellana was in 1542 when he became the first European to navigate the Amazon's entire length while reportedly searching for the city of gold (El Dorado), then named the river such because his party supposedly came under attack from fierce female warriors just like those mythical creatures called the Amazons... at the confluence of the Rio Trombetas.

Yes, this bar looks tough enough & imposing enough to scare armies of men at first sight only to then make them weak in the knees with its floral perfumes.

Rare indeed considering that such fragrances in the world of chocolate today are nearly reaching the vanishing point of those fog clouds in the rain forest.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
Color: medium brown
Surface: seriously indestructible (dropped several times in transit & no break)
Temper: diamond shine (almost oily)
Snap: soft-spoken
Aroma   7.6 / 10
rather green (as in vegetative / herbal -- lichens, ferns, bromeliads & orchids; slightly under-fermented?) to an otherwise white countenance (freshly-stripped laurel bark & banana [peel included]) -> breathes out cardamom before the wood really lays it on heavy
Mouthfeel   13.1 / 15
Texture: mid-weight & smooth
Melt: evenly paced
Flavor   43.7 / 50
confluence of orange blossoms atop wooded cocoa (oncidium sharry) -> back bitter comes to the fore &, as with the Aroma, heavier woods -> lumbers into a malted sap spot -> raw cocoa edge (light roasting) mingling with some fungi -> blossom reverts into an orange seed extract carried by some considerable astringency -> loose tannins dominate the aft-length
Quality   16.1 / 20
A bar going for a specific exposition of a special hi-note cluster.

Pacari straddles a fine line in seeking to balance an obvious flower pattern -- attributable to a class of cacáo chemical compounds called terpenes & a sign of some substantial Nacional lineage -- with significant tannic substrate. It elects a light roast in keeping with its house-style which serves to preserve both ends of the spectrum.

Anything warmer risks sacrificing some of those upper florals but would likely convert a portion of those bottom phenols into basal cocoa flavor. Such a compromised setting -- similar to one forged by Marañón with another Nacional, the Fortunato No. 4 -- might make this bar more cohesive however.

As is, this pulls a bit at itself &, consequently, tastes of chocolate still in formation.

But for those in search of the fabled Arriba florals, gone missing in the onslaught of challenger clones like CCN-51, this revives hope for their recovery. Naturally, Santiago & Carla of Pacari share another trait with Marañón: both remain covetous of their locations & rightfully so seeing how few true floral displays are left in chocolate today.

Special... & should be on the tips of everyone's lips... at least once in a lifetime.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed November 7, 2011


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