Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (80% cacáo-content)
Strain Hybrid   (Nacional x Criollo; Vintage 2015)
Source Peru   (Marañón Canyon)
Flavor Naked   (mostly)
Style Classic      
Released in collaboration with Éclat Chocolate -- the label which once teamed up on Good 'n Evil utilizng cacáo from the same canyon in Peru.

Noe the namesake of the farmer (Noe Vasquez) whence the cocoa in this chocolate originates. Nice touch; hey, how many planters have bars named after them? He figures prominently in Fortunato #4. For more on his saga, check out this site's re-telling of The Mother 'F' Tree in the New Nacional Guardsman.

This bar advertised as The Perfect Cross (see label above), on account of its strains (Nacional x Criollo) from a small confine of trees on Noe's property. Unusual for Marañón Canyon, known strictly as a Nacional bastion, visited here by Criollo -- rare for the area. ‘Perfect Cross’ or not, certainly a benevolent one.

The results taste very Venzy (for Venezuela) with a Piura, Peru excursion (viz., its so-called Porcelana aka Blanco de Criollo which, upon DNA analysis, fits into a Nacional subgroup from the Santiago and Morona river valleys). Wait... there's more... And as much Catongo / Amelonado flavor as Nac’l / Criollo. Of course such parallels are inexact in this mishmash mix 'n match of jumbled cacáo these days. Damn, that's a mouthful.

In any event, perhaps the aim if not quite the blueprint of Homero Castro's dream in developing CCN-51. If only...

Noe: a kind & rewarding chocolate. Just like the man himself.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: light polychrome
Surface: transverse pod design
Temper: matte
Snap: soft in keeping with color
Aroma   7.6 / 10
leveled to the horizontal plane... wood chips, cinders, sacha inchi nuts, toasted grains, all on a cocoa plank -> fermented fabric & fibers (think: sweat socks in the locker room)
Mouthfeel   14.2 / 15
Texture: true
Melt: on schedule
Flavor   46.4 / 50
golden chocolate-chocolate with a blade of hay & a drop of lucuma -> breadfruit -> fudges up considerably with sacha inchi standing in for a walnut brownie -> hickory / pecan -> tonka bean (deeper / darker than vanilla) -> small bitter finger -> black toffee back, mix in chicory -> clean herbal green clearing
Quality   18.1 / 20
Easy-going. Quite benign for the 80% class.

A quiet chocolate without underwhelming the senses. No loud brassy notes. Or brash volatiles.

Atypical for Marañón, absent its customary drupe fruits. Again on account of the hybridized varietal in this bar (see Impact section above for deets).

More streamline & confined range. Pretty horizontal flavor profile, grounded along a plane of nice basal cocoa 'n nuts (hickory / pecan / sacha inchi) for the most part + supporting tags.

Fruition processes with equal benevolence. Cocoa hit with a medium-hi roast -- long but not strong, slow but not low -- tapered at both ends of the curve. Nothing overweening or obvious. The batch then receives a compensatory churn in the melanguer -- very lite & relatively short -- as an offset. Anything more or less would rub out flavor on one side while under-developing potential on the other.

Sound collaboration with Éclat.

A bar that brags 80% is the new 70.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed , 2019


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