100% Cacao

by Holy Cacao
Info Details
Country Israel   
Type Brut   (100%)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Peru   (1. Juanjuí San Martin; 2. Marañón + Piura)
Flavor Earthen   (heavy metal pounding [Juanjui])
Style Old School      (pre-historic [Juanjui])
UPDATED / UPGRADED REVIEW: The following review features a pair of Holy Cacao's unsweetened 100s, both from Peru: a) Juakjui, San Martin released in 2013 & b) Marañón-Piura Blend in 2016. Overall rating & metrics at upper right reflects the latter bar only.
Disintermediation at its purest.

In an industry where 97%+ of the commodity meanders a long circuitous route from its point of origin, Jo Zander of Holy Cacao travels from Israel to Peru himself to procure these cocoa nuts that find their way into this bar.

No big brokers, major export agents, or third party traders. In fact, Jo purchased a plot of land there, planted 5 hectares of "naturales" & grafted another hectare with a new hybrid (ICT 1099 based on Contamana / Scavina rootstock out of the Tarapoto research center).

Beyond direct straight-from-the-source cacáo, Zander practically delivers an I-V drip of it.

100% -- because obviously any transaction that involves a go-between is to him... well, just too damn indirect.
Appearance   4.4 / 5

Color: light-medium for the percentage
Surface: scored in a rather unusual 9 x 3 grid; each tile slightly beveled which...
Temper: ... furnishes an extra dimension of motion to the gloss
Snap: direct to/from the source
Aroma   8.8 / 10
Juanjuí, San Martin
classic forest floor... clean dirt / good Earth material with rich topsoil, mushrooms, micro-flora & fauna
musk & coconut furnish, oddly enough, some levity to the density
well-ground spices

Marañón + Piura
big hardwood bull swinging huge nuts
airs out to banana bubble yum & putty
Mouthfeel   13.9 / 15
Texture: primordial plasma
Melt: slow as molasses?
no, molasses ain't this slow
this slower than eons
Flavor   44.1 / 50
Juanjuí, San Martin
brief sweet choc shifts to cocoa dust, then further to dry cocoa tannins -> fleeting cacáo pulp -> grows heavy metal - cadmium, magnesium, iron as the hemoglobin aspects of cacáo take over... a bit of a bitter bloody mess splatters the walls of the oral chamber -> peripheral coconut spares the tongue of deeper lashes without abating them altogether because the proceedings continue on, just at a more tolerable level... coconut comes fore as harshdown gradually recedes in intensity though not in memory -> slightly sour / citric greens at the tail (purslane; arugula) mollified by roasted nut oils -> departs on a shuddering parting shot: straight hit of potassium & zinc -> very latent residual cocoa in the deep shaft of the bunker

Marañón + Piura
twee mint sprig, then those bubble yums in the Aromatics the first real initial hit -> strafing acid streak generalized as time elapses into lime.... meets sisal twine -> settles into more Earthen elements including mineralized topsoil & fungi beneath that lime layer -> tartar vinaigrette -> a single cumin seed -> caps it all with allspice
Quality   17.3 / 20
Pretty true of the very source. Whew.

Been awhile since any barsmith delivered such a ferocious bite. Probably need to cast back to Coppeneur's rottweiler of a bar from neighboring Ecuador.

WARNING: not for the faint-hearted. Experienced users only.

Funny, the bark (i.e., its Aroma) is almost puppy-like compared to the actual Flavor, the latter relatively un-ameliorated / un-manipulated.

Definitely a test of will & stamina. And yet it rings with honesty. The ferment rather correct; the drying free of molds & mildew; the processing, as noted, quite unadorned though Holy Cacao does smooth the edges -- somewhat -- to sharpen the teeth. It renders a sense both cultivated & non-domesticated, of hearth & forest. Which all let this cacáo off the leash in having its way around a public park where strollers, joggers & bystanders might be terrified but at least they'll get a taste of the wild without having to leave their "civilized" confines. Which means, should it be necessary, help is only a 9-1-1 call away.

Holy cacáo indeed; say some prayers.


Marañón + Piura
Geographic proximity (both Piura and Marañón in northern Peru) belies each other's organoleptic distance as these 2 cacáos are quite different.

Piura's lower base compounds pulls & pools Marañón's volatiles in a logical match, a good tight suture (though short of seamless), for a savory admixture. Damn savory... perhaps the savoriest of all 100s.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass

Reviewed October 17, 2013
Revised July 19, 2016


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