Cacao Bisiesto

by French Broad
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (68%)
Strain Blend   
Source Nicaragua   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Rustic      
REDUX FLASHBACK REVIEW: The following review details 2 Cacao Bisiesto bars from French Broad, an early release in 2013, followed by another in 2016. Overall rating & metrics (upper right) reflect a composite average of both.


The Dog Ate My... The "dog ate it" excuse hasn't cut it in the classroom for awhile but the US Treasury is more receptive to this explanation than schoolteachers, & for that one person can be grateful.

A Montana man claims his one-eyed dog ate five $100 bills. The pet owner was nothing if not committed, following his dog around for days after the incident, collecting its droppings & eventually picking out the digested bill fragments before mailing them to Washington DC (how did they pass thru security?).

An unpleasant experience, his efforts ultimately paid off.

Treasury sent back a $500 check to replace them.

Maybe it’s part of the government’s “quantitative easing” policy, the monetary equivalent of a laxative befitting the tail.

Whatever, thankfully dogs are allergic to chocolate so this will never happen to chocophages.

A bar that carries the whiff of dogs & fleas but whose taste is anything “butt”.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: a blusher in hearthstone
Surface: quite defined
Temper: charm school
Snap: outspoken to belie its image
Aroma   7.1 / 10
an animal shelter
wet dog lapping around a bowl of Alpo® (seriously)
for puppy wuvers, this got your name on it; those who suffer from pet allergies, stay away

fleeting jungle vines & wind swept pines -> coffee
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: granular
Melt: what rolled up into a gum clump in 2013 turns into lo-butter flutter
Flavor   44.8 / 50
brown sugar start -> momentary mulberry -> what French Broad describes as 'black tea' (some char on the edge of a brownie) easily gets overridden by scintillating tamarind (fine), sparked by spices (a ginger back... then sassafras...) & hugs it for awhile -> kola nut -> trace limestone caps it -> breadfruit & black cocoa the after-party

sugared fruit flirts over cocoa burst -> coffee -> black tea -> allspice -> coffees fades back into aft-taste
Quality   17.4 / 20
Matagalpa; La Dalla; Finca Rogelio Pineda
'Semilla Hybrid' -- IMC-67 + Pound Clonal Selections; Batch #130911BK

Dry soda pop fountain.

A relative -- call it the sweet niece -- of Vintage Plantatation's La Tronca. Both hail from the same finca or grove in Nica, treated to a post harvest by CBN (Giff Laube & José Enrique Herrera's Cacao Bisiesto Nicaragua company), & possess animal instincts in their Aromas.

One therefore proves heuristic in approaching the other.

The extra 22% sugar here empowers, indeed emboldens, this bar with greater presence. Where some might expect a frothy saccharine exuberance, French Broad chisels away with sugar to draw out some seasoned lines (re: those spices glimpsed at in La Tronca). Not to be overlooked in the entire taste-matrix is, of course, the spice-princess of them all -- sugar itself -- which simultaneously doubles as a curb on that nearly-singeing roast whose heat transmutes a substantial amount of the core cocoa notes that characterize this cacáo.

As satisfying as the overall flavor is, it sits in a pretty planar geometry without much depth. Higher sugaring often creates a more 2-dimensional flav-scape. The tags orient nicely however, if on a more immediate surface level.

Add in the Texture & it all adds up to some fetching rusticity.

Matagalpa; El Carmen & Rancho Grande
Batch: 150620

French Broad’s gotta-love-it saga continues in this romantic odyssey: from farmstead (Finca Buddha in Costa Rica) to café in Asheville, NC & baby Sam crawling around the family room. All-American can-do, ala PR firm dream script lived by Jael & Daniel Rattigan.

3 years on & this Cacao Bisiesto bar snagged a ribbon recently, emblematic of the upgrade in its overall quality., thanks largely to its fermentation, improvements in cleanliness & timing in the process as well as craft chocolate making.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed October 15, 2013
Revised February 23, 2016


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