by Arabuco Kai
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   
Strain Trinitario   
Source Puerto Rico   
Flavor Sugar   (x Fruits / Flowers)
Style Rustic      
Puerto Rico (PR) is, bluntly, a mess. Political corruption of jawbreaking levels, environmental wasteland in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, & enough fiscal debt to turn, on a per capita basis, the student loan burden on the mainland into a teen's weekly allowance.

Balance that with Caribbean temperatures, an equally warm culture (especially music & dance), &, now, a superb array of regional cacáos. Who knows how the good growers in PR pull this off with all the adversities. Maybe the relief money Lin-Manuel Miranda raised sponsors those robots developed by online supermarket Ocado whose soft "hands" pick fruits & vegetables 24/7/365 for free!
Appearance   3.7 / 5
Color: San Sebastian 80: deep crimson (add a splash of purple-ray in the others with Moca leaning toward slate brown)
Surface: convex mould
Temper: burnished
Snap: belies its dense-looking countenance -- quiet
Aroma   8 / 10
"landscaping" as a generality -- the rivers, woods, foliage like sago palm, bromeliads, saplings, including a sapping swamp, all over topsoil
vanillized-marshmallow cookie + a freshly & beautifully tanned leather (Aguada)
lite (un)roasted edge
bletted cocoa (Moca)
let's bite....
Mouthfeel   11.4 / 15
Texture: powderful
Melt: rapid fray
Flavor   45.8 / 50
San Sebastian 80
80% cacáo-content; Batch 103

incredibly sweet uptake from the initial drop, mimicking dried fruits (mango & guanabana), orange concentrate, & yam... subsides gradually to soiled elements -> tree bark -> raw cacáo-verde -> stringent stone ground finish

Shocking sweetness for the 80% cacáo-content class

San Sebastian 70
70% cacáo-content; Batch 102

sweet chocolate mud pie with sliced fruit (black cherry) -> marshmallow cookie dough -> green & leguminous ending (stringent grip too)

For the adult-kid in everyone, everywhere.

Mayagüez 80
80% cacáo-content; Batch 97

green fronds -> cacáo-verde -> huge breadfruit -> vanilla wafer -> jackfruit -> cocoa butter -> black mild / back bitter

Another extremely well-poised 80% Dark. Nowhere near as sweet as the San Sebastian 80. In fact, just the opposite: quite arid & austere but mild considering the modest sugaring.

Aguada 70
70% cacáo-content; Batch 103

sweet lager -> cherry cocoa-cola / sassafras -> wonderful walnut-brownie -> medicinal bark -> rum

Excellent fun. Alcohol at the front lip & rear spout. In between: solid chocolate with fruit-nut-spice tones. Toss in cocoa's intrinsic aminos & this forms a complete meal.

70% cacáo-content; Batch 99

brown-sugared cocoa -> date, sweet tamarind, then fig cut by chironja -> modest molasses -> all cocoa at the back

Another frisky bar that just comes on the palate. More sweetness again, sweeter than its 70% content lets on... enough tannins hold the ballast well.
Quality   16.6 / 20
"Trinitarios" used loosely here with the caveat that it mostly connates a meaningless mash of this & that. With respect to Puerto Rico, the island may in fact host more genuine Trinitario varietals due to its a) proximity to the cultivar's birthplace -- Trinidad, but moreover b) a decent cataloging & stewardship of genetic materials.

The feel & the tempo on the Textures leaves a little to be desired still; Flavor more than compensates. Indeed, attribute the relatively coarse melts as contributing to flavor outcome, even in character with it (that dilapidated edge renders it rustic). That & the modest roasts (hence the cacao-verde traits).

An island bounty. Puerto Rico, endowed with cacáo power, shows off its variegated colors. These 'Trinis' just swaying in the trade winds. Nicely dappled points of tropical fruits tethered to good cocoa bones.

A fine regional sampler from Arabuco Kai. And it represents only the western end of the island. Hopes & prayers for more to come.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed June 5, 2019


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