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Ecuador Camino Verde

by Dick Taylor
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (76%; Batch 13312)
Strain EET   
Source Ecuador   (Balao; Camino Verde)
Flavor Earthen   (with some levity)
Style New School      (see Quality section below)
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Fighting for their rights & for those of chocolate bar hoppers everywhere, cacao guerrilla Vincente Norero of Camino Verde, the merchant broker Gino Dalla Gasperino at Meridiana Cacao, & barsmith Dick Taylor conspire to form a chocolate death-squad.

Together they just kill it.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: raven brown, almost nuked black-cake
Surface: none better
Temper: recoiled
Snap: recalcitrant
Aroma   7.9 / 10
sweat socks & mustard sauce -- ballgame on
brewers yeast, mustard seeds, vinegar, & cracked pepper… stoned ground
ishpinga + hops
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: in sync with its Snap until...
Melt: … releasing effortlessly
Flavor   46.5 / 50
mushroom-chocolate paté (fine fungi with a dirt smudge)... all fudged-up soon enough -> black walnut -> briefly whitish / lightish (banana chanterelle!!) -> smoked entrails lead on to deep dark cocoa core -> re-introduces the mushroom as porcini -> streaming paste of dense black mission fig & dank treacle -> soiled element returns on a biscuit wafer
Quality   18 / 20
With this bar Dick Taylor arrives & in stride. Far exceeds any of its prior output. Superior seed selection & a newer process account for the quantum leap in quality.

As Adam Dick explains, he & co-craftsman Dustin Taylor run a 50-50 mix on Nibs & sugar crystals to produce flake, then dry conch that while adding the final 25% or so of chocolate liquor. This results in fantastic partitioning of the flavor spectrum as some particle suspensions integrate more deeply than others. Hence, along with other factors, it helps create those interactions between dark zones & leavened whites.

If Rogue's Balao imparts Bourbon impressions, Dick Taylor imports dried mushrooms (upping the cacáo-content a point to 76% renders, as expected, a negligible portion of that difference).

Very agile for such brooding characteristics (reflective of its Color). For instance, that middle frame, smoked but not smokey. The dirt, in danger of undertaking tongues as shovels digging down, stays top soil brown.

A chocolate that continually gives & never needs forgiving, a bit of a rarity as even some great bars bear scars of a blemish or two. Virtually none here.

The first early contender for bar-of-the-year of the 2014 season.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed 24, 2014

  

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