Info Details
Country USA   
Type Beans   
Strain Amelonado   
Source Nicaragua   (Matiguas; 2010 Harvest)
Flavor Naked   
Style Neo-Modern      
Takes the Jimmy Carter of cacáo (Amelonado... a commoner but fraught) & nearly elevates it to a Crazy Horse (or his Oglala Lakota name Tȟašúŋke Witkó) in the shadow of Mount Rushmore (Black Hills, South Dakota).

Crazy Horse Mountain Monument, Custer County, SD; sculpted by Korczak Ziółkowski
Appearance   3.7 / 5
medium-large seeds
Color: ink jet brown; quite uniform thru & thru
Surface: easy-off husks / parchment paper
Temper: lightly buffed
Snap: n/a
Aroma   6.8 / 10
pretty acetic: vinegar & film developer, some so stinky / sticky they clump together -> once unshelled they emit pencil shavings (lead No. 2) & tobacco leaf -> leather
Mouthfeel   12.6 / 15
Texture: cocoa crisps + some grit
Melt: gruel
Flavor   45.2 / 50
faint cocoa -> mineralizes beautifully over a wood veneer -> forested mushroom -> umami FXs (cassava chips) -> slight herbal back -> tolerant bitter at the very end
Quality   17.8 / 20
Very satisfying; excellent in fact.

Simple, perhaps too simple, as maybe the ferment -- still lingering on the husk -- could've gone longer to penetrate the seeds more to impart vital flavor pre-cursors.

Hard to argue with the results though: scant bittering (except for the dying end) & what a constancy of flavor once it hits mid-palate.

The degree to which Monda roasts really measures & nuances this Amelonado genotype & nicely squares its compounds. Precious few are prominent in number, & those mainly residing at the lower strata of the spectrum, but well defined & articulated.

And done in situ no less; a demo of just how serious Monda is in taking cacáo to the next level by keeping its processing close to home (in this case Nicaragua). The kind of bean that screams "CHOCOLATE" in the tradition of the Xoco-sourced Indio Rojo.

ING: whole bean cocoa

Reviewed January 11, 2012


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