Venezuela 70% Amazonas

by Solstice
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Playa Alta   
Source Venezuela   (Bolivar; Orinoco River Basin)
Flavor Naked   (x Fruits/Flowers)
Style retro-American      (pseudo)
The Amazon still holds a mythic dimension in the imagination. Pristine despite the fact that, say, isolated cities like Iquitos -- accessible only by plane or boat -- teem with prostitutes. Or the Napo River abandoned houseboats.

All part & parcel to continual evolution that transforms rainforest pockets into oil drilling sites & aboriginal shamans into Evangelical priests.

Yep, things aren't so clear there anymore.

A Selva Nublada (foggy rainforest) of a chocolate bar until the cut 'n dry finish.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: pewtering toward gunsmoke brown
Surface: multiple release marks; divots / subterranean bubbles
Temper: opaque shimmer
Snap: tight & low; softly sanded edge wall
Aroma   7.5 / 10
reeds, palms & haystacks
rotting into the dirt... deeper into soil… of a clay pot
Mouthfeel   11.7 / 15
Texture: smooth discom-glob-ulation
Melt: dandles all about
Flavor   39.4 / 50
instantiates immediate fruits (black cum crowberry) against a solid cocoa backbone, just as quickly kiboshed by dark bitter bark which leads to charred brownies -> cinnamon speck -> thin white fruit-nut (banana-cashew) -> butters out, yet dark bitter persists -> those dirty Aromatics -> mounting stringent compounds, including limestone, takes it thru the end
Quality   14.1 / 20
Disjointed in Flavor, Texture & even style. Due to the stout structure of this varietal, it hangs on to keep this together enough.

Hi-roast, in parts, grating on nearly-raw astringency, in sections, matched by choppy Texture addled with a big butter cut (probably in excess of the officially listed CBS [Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio]: 12:13:11)… all points to inconsistency. To Solstice's credit it almost pulls off a sleight-of-hand in canceling out the deficiencies only, alas, to conflate them in the dry end.

Undeniable potential glimpsed during the opening frame & seen elsewhere with the Playa Alta strain (aka its trade name Amazonas -- introduced to the consumer world way back in 2010).

Going forward, extending those initial tags would serve Solstice & this bar well, for that's where this cultivar's best character resides. And that requires improved post-harvesting at the source.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed January 29, 2014


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