Los Rios

by República del Cacao
Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Dark   (75%)
Strain Hybrid   (modest Nacional)
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (backed in Spices/Herbs)
Style Old School      
Nacional, glamorized for its florals, & here it’s Fruit & Flour – the ultimate Fig Newton bar, all done in-country where you can taste the flavor of the source more closely than beans shipped thousands of miles away for processing/refining.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: cool black magenta
Temper: semi-flat veneer for safari danger
Snap: crushing
Aroma   9.3 / 10
cacao wow; from a distance wet coffee grains; move in – flowers (orange blossom, hibiscus, tuberose); closer still – a spice pack... monster cinnamon then vanilla, a little fennel, & pepper sparkles recalling Red Hots candy; carob & more fennel on the rubdown
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: separates out, in almost cloisonne agglomerates
Melt: deluxe cream
Flavor   43.2 / 50
spice aroma opens & leads right into chocolate, then full banana-cream -> dithers around talcum dust before sweet honeyed-malt to slippery elm sequence produces surging figs (visibly advancing from green calimyrna to black mission) -> breaded back-up for a huge Fig Newton highlight -> splash of cassis liqueur -> dusted malt returns as a shreddable board, almost cardboard, but just enough wood to hold tuberose against blackening factors of vanilla, pepper, carob, & molasses that dissipate to orange blossom & blackberry syrup
Quality   17.3 / 20
A bean batch well selected & identified, then lasered with excellent spotlights on ingrown characteristics of the varietal. Where Coppeneur’s Los Rios is all in the roast, & Dagoba presents a standard interpretation, this almost rivals Felchlin’s for its range & Slitti’s (during its heyday) for occasional fury. There’s just no backing down. Flaws are evident – relatively low chocolarity, top heavy brown fruit, & a nearly cardboard undertone that never truly resolves (raises possible question about storage problems) – but it generates more than enough else to compensate. CBS ~ 4:4:3


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