El Carmen

by Goodnow Farms
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Beans   (+ Dark -- 77% cacáo-content)
Strain Nicaliso   (Hybrid)
Source Nicaragua   (El Carmen; + Managua-vicinity)
Flavor Earthen   (+ Fruits/Flowers)
Style Classic      
Leishmaniasis. Never heard of it? Well, it may be coming to a town near you.

Doug Preston in his latest -- The Lost City of the Monkey God about unearthed villages in pre-Columbian times -- relays parts of Central America form a hot zone of the disease leishmaniasis. And more people will become very interested in it because it’s potentially deadly & incurable, which eventually then suddenly will cause an intense focus of personal interest.

Epidemiologists predict the spread of leishmaniasis across the USA. More fear-mongering like the current political environment or just rational precaution?

This much is known factually: modern medicine has no vaccine & no prophylactic for it. Sand flies transmit "leash" which feed on any number of mammals from rats & mice to pets like dogs & cats. Sandflies are about a quarter of the size of mosquitos. You can’t hear them. You can’t feel them biting. They come out at night.

Once "treated", relapses occur. So horrific that many victims don't have the guts to deal with it so sometimes they sit in denial. Besides, what can medicine do anyways.

Just something to ponder in these bars from Nicaragua before leishmaniasis hits home.
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: El Carmen
Nut Seed: attractive sandy pewter; another uniform Goodnow roast on the inside
Dark Bar: a little red eye (well, closer to crimson but sleepy nonetheless)
Bar with Coffee: café brown

Nut Seed: dark burnt orange-grey (almost a scarlet-gray)
Dark Bar: blush-blush
Surface: El Carmen
Nut Seed: mostly flats; only minor resistance unhusking
Dark Bar: another Goodnow beaut
Bar with Coffee: pimply

Nut Seed: slugs, plumps, flats... some with sticky encrustations
Bar: fine
Temper: El Carmen
Nut Seed: n/a
Dark Bar: semi-matte
Bar with Coffee: tallow-like

Nut Seed: easy-off peel, some blow themselves off
Bar: semi-matte
Snap: (Bars only) crisp as a stalk of celery
Aroma   7.9 / 10
El Carmen
Nut Seed -- cheese factor just on this side of putrid (on the edge of butyric acid)
Dark Bar -- deep, thick loam gives rise to spiced-tabac
Bar with Coffee -- recoiling; caffeine jolts the nares

Nut Seed -- balsam & balsamic
Bar -- bandaids & scotch tape (ala brettanomyces yeast) yield to concentrated fruit jam -> eventually alights peach! (rare)
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: El Carmen
Nut Seed: medium crunch
Dark Bar: recalcitrant
Bar with Coffee: granulars

Nut Seed: papery
Bar: slick...
Melt: El Carmen (bars only) -- durable

Nicalizo (bar only) -- ... slipstream
Flavor   46 / 50
El Carmen
Nut Seed -- intriguing fruited aspect (non-banana & uncommon for a Nib) -> cold bitter mineral -> cold brew coffee -> applies a final stamp with good cocoa principles
Dark Bar -- fuge brownie, rich full-on cocoa, medium tannins & a back sweet cream point -> cardamom (more the vapor than the flavor) -> hay -> whole vanilla bean
Bar with Coffee -- nut entrée with café on the side, the latter gradually exerts to the foreground & overtakes the progression without trampling the considerable chocolate base which holds its own -> complementary spice counter (excellent) -> closes toward a coffee-generated fruit berry acid (fine)

Nut Seed -- runs a good gamut... caramel! / cocoa, yes -> plantain to banana -> nuts -> herbal -> savory umami -> porcini!!... on & on, practically a full course meal in itself; one kind seed, just a small bitter at the backend
Bar -- chocolate-dipped fruit served on a walnut brownie -> balsam -> porcini -> deep rear balsamic -> acacia -> ground cherry liqueur still in blackwood cask
Quality   18.2 / 20
El Carmen
Batch #1024
A Cacao Bisiesto produced cocoa. As with most of this post-harvester's material, pretty straight-forwatrd. And generously so. Hi-CQ (for Chocolate Quotient / core basal flavor) -- a Bisiesto specialty -- thanks to a good pyridine contingent among other compounds. The Dark Bar at 77% cacáo-content strikes an intensity that turns the dials up yet comports so well for the percentage. Meanwhile the 69% Bar with Coffee (Batch #1033) really calibrates & complements the components. Ace symmetry all the way around.
Bottom line: good enough to franchise for Carmen Sandiego to rep.

Batch #1027
Quite the complex. A lattice-work of flavor. This varietal once more confirming its status as a prized cacáo. Big, bold, intense & in depth.

Well-prepped / post-harvested on the ground by Ingemann. Then from there Goodnow crafts faithfully. Indeed, neither light-handed nor heavy-handed, the barsmith attains a golden ratio. Its hand feels absent (though everyone should know better). Exemplary.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed December 8, 2017


Pin It on Pinterest