Info Details
Country UK   
Type Semi-Dark   (100%; Lot #13092; 2012 Harvest)
Strain Amazon   
Source Peru   (Junín; Chanchamayo; Pichanaqui)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Neo-Modern      
Pachakutiq Inca Yupanqui (9th Sapa Inca circa 1438-1471/72) transformed the Kingdom of Cusco into the Tawantinsuyu (i.e., the Inca Empire).

Most archaeologists now believe that the famed site of Machu Picchu was built as an estate for him.

In the local Quechua dialect, Pachakutiq means "he who shakes the Earth", & Yupanqui "with honor".

At 100%, without any sugar whatsoever, read on to discover whether this bar creates similar world-beater FXs or just rattles the taste-cage like some baby puma.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: ink brown except a curious fleck or two of white specks (the opposite of Bonnat's Ivoire dark flakes on White Chocolate)
Surface: rough-cut slab with simulated wood grain
Temper: dry
Snap: crisp kindling
Aroma   7.1 / 10
misguided for the origin... heavy wood & coconut shells straight out of Africa... until balsam of Peru appears + sour greens & climbing vines
tops out on minerals & warm cocoa
Mouthfeel   13.6 / 15
Texture: turgid
Melt: pot belly
Flavor   41.8 / 50
roasted herbal greens lean in against those wooded Aromatics -> reclines some on cocoa butter, tubers, & grain pellets (quinoa) which hold in check the souring & bitter aspect that the backdrop portends -> limestone seals them out for good measure -> legume 'n lucuma -> passing coconut to tannic bark at the tail -> familiar balsam of Peru - cocoa after-length (think vanilla chocolate)
Quality   15.2 / 20
Pichanaki (Pichanaqui), one of the districts in the Chanchamayo Province of the Junín region in central Perú.

Other bars from this general area that have landed in The Chocolate Census include Morin's overpowering floral spray, S-B's Cheni, Bonnat's Cusco, & the Zotter dual bar collection from Satipo (70-16 and 70-20), among others. All, btw, highly-rated. In fact, a bad bar has yet to emanate from this cacáo zone.

As the first unsweetened 100% from there, Hotel Chocolat ("HC") excessively grooms it... perhaps to ward off the intimidation which consumers might feel from approaching such a daunting percentage.

In a package rife with info right down to the roaster's name & signature (hello Riona Macfayen -- click image upper right to enlarge), conche time (60 hours) & vintage (2012), one crucial piece goes missing: varietal / genotype. Safe to assume a jumble of hodge-pods in here, indiscriminately lumped together as Amazon. Which speaks both to the indirect purchase of this seed lot & the gen'l motley slew that defines this field.

The long & rather strong roast (35 minutes at 280+ºF) & what translates in the Flavor of a lengthy vigorous conche (Texture: fat but tight) eviscerates most of this cacáo's guts. Liner notes promise "Tuscan olive oil" (maybe herb leaves coated in cocoa butter inspired such a reference) & "restrained red Burgundy" ('restrained' the operative word since fruit never really materializes). Frankly, such script sounds-off of flavor-by-numbers cribbed from the same stock glossary that totals up to a dozen or so descriptors (ya know, cherry, leather, tobacco, chocolatey, etc.).

Cacáo, with approximately 800 chemical compounds, racks up sensations in far more manifold combinations than just those.

Mildly put, this is a well-mannered 100%. Pretty tame for the percentage with just enough bite to instill a little fright into virgins of The Dark.

Neutered into friendly if unfrisky territory. And that ain't half bad.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass; CBS (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): 1:1:0

Reviewed August 6, 2013


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