Cuyagua Village

by Benoit Nihant
Info Details
Country Belgium   
Type Dark   (74%; Batch #02)
Strain Cuyagua   (Criollo group)
Source Venezuela   (Aragua; Cuyagua)
Flavor Naked   
Style Old School      (roast)
Humans so love themselves that they spawn lots of replicates (babies) & teach domesticated animals anthropomorphic tricks.

So when dogs start taking selflies, the robots can't be far behind. Or let's hope not.

Stupid pet tricks… because, on reflection, there's usually very little unusual about them.

Like no real magic.
Appearance   4.7 / 5
Color: raven dark
Surface: flush clean
Temper: matte
Snap: thin but piercing
Aroma   7.5 / 10
initially out of sorts for the valley, primarily due to a burning manure pile from a hot-fire roast
settles into more characteristic Cuyagua (cocoa / cream / wood)
fumes up tobacco / spice (wintergreen)
Mouthfeel   12.2 / 15
Texture: thin like its Snap
Melt: a hydrogenator
Flavor   40.4 / 50
brief wintergreen-clove -> torrefied cocoa -> brownies -> burlap / jute / cotton & all sorts of fabric sacks -> smoked pork over char-cocoa chips -> spills over coffee... with a sweet late-breaking peach pit
Quality   15 / 20
Oversteps the parameters of what this cacáo tolerates. Particularly the fire which just licks these beans with flaming embers. Then worked-over for 78 hours in the conche. Both mechanical settings prohibitive, given the advertised "Criollo" seed lot, in a mistaken presumption of 'if a little is good, a lot must be better'.

No one has yet produced a great Cuyagua. Perhaps Amano's ranks closest. Then again, very few Cuyagua have been produced at all. A valley surrounded by surf & some of Venezuela's cacáo jewels (such as Ocumare & Chuao) as well as the Pittier Nat'l Forest, it should be just a matter of time before someone does. Either that or Cuyagua is the poor stepchild in the region's terra / genetic lottery.

Whatever it may lack in complexity compared to its neighbors, Cuyagua generally exhibits tremendous core cocoa principles (or CQ) similar to another under-appreciated Venezuelan cultivar in Rio Caribe, if less robust. As such, whoever finesses & caresses should reap the full bounty of the harvest & the flavor potential therein.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter,

Reviewed December 12, 2013


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