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Peru Nacional 80%

by The Chocolate Tree
Info Details
Country Scotland   
Type Dark   (80%)
Strain Nacional   
Source Peru   (Marañón Canyon)
Flavor Naked   (to Earthen)
Style Old School      (Stone Age -- see below)
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Already in its young life, The Chocolate Tree (TCT) in Scotland has stacked up several firsts with its bars from Madagascar -- 100% & the Unroasted.

And now another: the first to scale the 80% Class with Peru Nacional.

About time.

This site begged for such long ago -- like for 3 years (seems like, so… OMG, ancient). Finally a barsmith heeds the call… only to remind 'beware what you wish for'.

A bar that from start to finish warps into a reverse time-lapse to end up back at Ness of Bogdar, Scotland -- the Neolithic era circa 3,300BC. Sealed with what appears to be a talisman (click image at right to enlarge).

BC? Yeah, like, Before Chocolate.
Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: light claret
Surface: imperfect by The Chocolate Tree standards (bubbles & divots); still, a paragon for most other barsmiths
Temper: fudge veneer
Snap: lyricism unbound
Aroma   6.9 / 10
a whiff at odds with itself… some good / some bad, take a pick:
vinegar 'n manure
wet dog with a caramel heel
tea rubbing up against flint stone to spark the tomato-likeness of cocona
sheesh… intriguing
Mouthfeel   13.3 / 15
Texture: undifferentiated
Melt: surprisingly patient
Flavor   39.6 / 50
chocolate fudge, brownie, hash (so far, all good) -> Oreo® sandwich (a bit pedestrian & a consequence of over-roasting) -> thin colloidal silver ('interesting' to use a term on the List of Banned Words) -> licorice (alright) -> bitter coffee (an assault on the senses) -> the now-hallmark treacle that accentuates recent harvests from Marañón -> some heavy grip post-stringency (arrgh)
Quality   15.2 / 20
Unrecognizable as Peru Nacional; some of that attributable to the 80% weight.

The good - bad - ugly:
-- the highest CQ of any Marañón Canyon Nacional to date with core basal cocoa (a strong front runner that, alas, loses stamina midway & veers off track, thereby losing integrity)
-- that CQ swaps out delicate esters so prized from this varietal
-- a generally deteriorating final trimester which descends into a bog of sickly sweeteners, burnt coffee grounds, & a corrosive undoing
TCT acknowledges the temperamental nature of this diva, compounded by some challenger ferments.

Overprocessed; too much heat & friction throughout exemplified in the Texture, outstanding such as it is but out of character for the type. The duration of the melt (slower than usual), the body (greater tissue) & quality (of density) suggest over crystallization either at the refining &/or tempering stage(s). Despite all the processing, considerable astringent residues mar the back end, pointing to some affects in the post-harvest at the source in Peru.

A bar requiring more time on the drawing board.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed April 1, 2014

  

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