Tierra Hermosa
Los Monos

by Cárdenas Chocolate
Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Dark   
Strain Nacional   (unofficially; + EET)
Source Ecuador   (Manabí; + Choco)
Flavor Naked   (x Spices/Herbs)
Style Mainstream      (x retro-American)
Susana Cárdenas, ex-Montecristo, launches this imprint.

The same panache she exudes personally may yet carryover into this chocolate endeavor as they develop & refine their techniques. As is, a precocious easy-pleaser.

Appearance   4.2 / 5
Color: Tierra Hermosa: purpled raven
Los Monos: buckskin
Surface: Tierra Hermosa: baking discs
Los Monos: weathered
Temper: Tierra Hermosa: vintage
Los Monos: suede
Snap: Tierra Hermosa: dainty
Los Monos: discreet
Aroma   8.8 / 10
Tierra Hermosa
the transporter... beautifully encapsulates terroir for a live scent / sense of 'tierra'
well above earth worm & snake on the ground, not alto bird altitude but at the level of climbing vines, airborne cocoa dust, a malt top
very clean; semi-arid

Los Monos
a deciduous forest meadow, dense & vibrant, ground nuts & mulch all about (cocoa included)
sour burst ale morphs up BubbleYum®
Mouthfeel   12.6 / 15
Texture: Tierra Hermosa: frags self-correct into slick rounds
Los Monos: airy & crumbling
Melt: Tierra Hermosa: slow hand
Los Monos: swells nicely
Flavor   43.9 / 50
Tierra Hermosa
cocoa-malt from the jump -> rice cake -> sweetens some & turns over toward subtle black mission fig -> vanilla -> soft caramel -> paper-thin almond-skin -> sassafras

Los Monos
quasi-raw entrance... leguminous (beans + cacáo verde) -> underside dark grape transitions toward blackberry -> polished rice -> rice-fruitcake! -> bamboo -> sacha inchi -> Aromatic ale -> gentian root -> bramble & leaf to close
Quality   17.1 / 20
Tierra Hermosa
72% cacáo-content; Manabí

Treated to an abbreviated 3-day ferment in keeping with the Aribba tradition of short 'n (semi-)sweet.

Very easy-going & accessible.

Contained in a limited flavor range with moderate concentration.

Los Monos
80% cacáo-content; Choco

Lightly roasted, coarse grind / barely ground, & hardly tempered (hence the air-injected sense in the Texture). Gives new meaning to the Naked Flavor Profile.

So gently touched leaves the balance of taste squarely on the bean itself, which proves up to the test. What starts out sheet-rock / drywall affects at that raw entrance, ends up inviting, even entrancing.

Taken as a tandem, these 2 bars are about as opposite as Beyoncé & Joni Mitchell. Save for the rice FXs & nuts, they diverge dramatically from each other.

Reviewed May 7, 2018


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