Info Details
Country Canada   
Type Dark   
Strain Ocumare   
Source Venezuela   (Ocumare de la Costa Valley + Niagara River basin)
Flavor Crossover   
Style New School      
Stratus... add 'nimbo' & 'alto' to the beginning of it + 'sphere' to the end, in sync with Canadian lyric soprano Teresa Stratus [sic] -- like her a chocolate smooth & rich throughout its range, allied with a strong personality of direct expression & dramatic sense.

Soma just scales it in this bar.
Appearance   3.9 / 5
Color: cloudy red
Surface: foil transfer & swirls
Temper: fogged
Snap: thunderous
Aroma   8.8 / 10
red, green & brown -- no, cookers, not those but dried grape, palm frond, & cocoa
wine-must flirting on vinegar
spice flint
Mouthfeel   12.3 / 15
Texture: domino tiles...
Melt: somewhat cold & slow
Flavor   48 / 50
cinnamon-spiced biscuits -> fig -> vanilla oak barrels forth... over the falls -> vinous aspects in all their multitudinous mash (noble rot grapes, micro-organisms, chaptalization, etc.) -> fermented cocoa caramel (sensational) -> taller timbers now fall heavy on the palate in massive thuds -> streaking cherry cordial lending a besotted fruitcake quality -> superb dry finish
Quality   18.5 / 20
Years ago, the C-spot® posted the first serious review (re: excluding the fodder of "scrummy" bloggers) on Soma's initial Ocumare. It amounted to a harsh-down. In the interim, apparently both Soma & the C-spot® have learned a lot. Like for starters, think twice before beating up on a bar before its time (ergo, the 2 kewl 4 skool policy).

Now Canada's preeminent barsmith, Soma really stretches the horizon & applies some daring to a venerable varietal -- a quasi-sacrilege to some -- on its new Ocumare offering here.

Aged Ocumare nibs in a wine barrel along with the lees (residuals yeasts) from the celebrated vintner known as Stratus. It faithfully captures that hazy but palpable concept of "somewhereness" belonging to the Niagara River basin in Ontario. In some ways this extends the process of cacáo's regular fermentation that usually occurs in cascading wooden boxes. Shades of Raaka's bourbon barrels & Corallo's marinated raisins in cacáo pulp.

Those nibs, according to David Castellan of Soma, emerge quite moist & full of wine bouquets, some of which make it thru to the finished chocolate along with the fresher raisin notes. His experiment proves once more that cacáo can stay as absorbent as, pardon, any diaper, tampon, or sanitary napkin to satisfy all age groups from cradle to crypt. Far tastiier & healthier too, so you might not even need any of those hygienic aids.

So compatible are the extrinsic factors which align mightily with Ocumare's inherent vanilla, oak, & caramel tones that they enrich the darker hues to overshadow its lighter fruit packets (peaches / plums) into a deeper countenance (black cherry / raisin).

The overall effect quite pronounced, to the point of almost an unnatural pitch, as well as extending Ocumare's customary intermediate length.

Innovative, creative, & generally well-executed. Other than the Texture (easy to overlook with Flavor such as this), a near perfect strike.

As of the date of this review, the company had yet to even produce a commercial wrapper for it; hence the plain font label (see image upper right). No matter, already an instant tradition & one of the truly great & rare bars of the 2013 season.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed October 11, 2013


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