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Esmeraldas 55%

by Caoni
Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Semi-Dark   (55%)
Strain Esmeraldas   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Old School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
In the Cocoa Game between lions & mice (inside George J.W. Goodman’s 1967 Money Game), the howler monkeys laugh overhead because they get their hands on the good stuff first, similar to Californians in Central Valley hording the best of the crop before shipping bruised berries & cherries back east to suckerz in NY, Boston, & Philly who hardly know better & have little choice but to shop Whole Paychex.

This entirely produced, processed, & packaged in-country in Ecuador.
Appearance   3.2 / 5
Caoni will never win a beauty contest; another schlub-looking piece
Color: fuzzy-wuzzy brown, leaning toward buffalo brown
Surface: acne & blemishes all over as if a mouse has been chewing on its face
Temper: semi-dull; splotchy
Snap: resounding for 55%
Aroma   7.7 / 10
aromatically retarded at the start; dumb & closed... no nose, no incline, just flat, untanned leather; rawhide on the rubdown; aerates however to sweet spice dust, roses, cherries & watermelon
Mouthfeel   12.6 / 15
Texture: velvet w/ slight dryness
Melt: as usual for Caoni, moves & moves smooth
Flavor   45.2 / 50
instant spicy melon -> chocolate sugar rush -> faint banana -> passing fig toffee -> timid but beautiful persimmon -> soft black currant -> spiced chocolate circus comes to the forefront as cinnamon / nutmeg / frankincense conspire for brown sugar cube; mulberry, dates, & even a shaft of caramel in the after length
Quality   17.8 / 20
WoooHaaaa (thanks, Mr. Pacino). Man, what a kind varietal (deceptively simple with sound chocolate backbone). Charisma & charm in no need whatsoever of anywhere near the impractical 45% sugar content, except to crank the cola nation. Caoni's instincts are otherwise on-the-mark with a mid-roast highlighting spices & a relatively light conche (anything more aggressive would drive off too much flavor). And wow, ain’t it amazing how they, the terroirsie (ask a wine-snob), can shape & accent a bean. Lusty, good earth; balls out/everything forward here. Surprisingly, it’s a Semi-Dark, though higher fruit, spice, & tannins than many hyped “dark” bars. Another case of good craftsmanship 1st; ego 2nd.

Caoni understands & respects the entire process: LET CACÁO SPEAK FOR ITSELF... (yo, wanna-be flashy jerks, please take note). Just like Aretha sang it - “Respect” - that’s what it’s all about. A tour de force of cacáo husbandry & bringing out the best in Esmeraldas’ nomenclature. For any cacáo-heads who expect South American chocolate to be grainy, loud, brassy &/or plain sloppy… don’t bother your pretty little close-minded craniums with this wondrous stuff…you just won’t get it.

  

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