by Hacienda Paria Shakti
Info Details
Country Venezuela   
Type Dark   (91%)
Strain Rio Caribe   
Source Venezuela   (Paria; San Francisco de Chacaracuar)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Rustic      
REDUX REVIEW: the following features 2 bars, both 81% cacáo-content -- one reviewed in 2010, & the other in 2016. Overall rating (upper right above) indicates a composite average of both.
Chocolate can often be a game like sex roulette, just never quite knowing when the jackpot's going to hit. Who'd suspect this humble homebrew from a backyard cultivator, operating basically as a roadside stand on the Paria Peninsula, Venezuela could deliver such pay load & hit the C-spot™, giving it major street cred?

That's why we play the game.
Appearance   3.2 / 5
Color: 2010: firebrick red ground into a doleful brown
2016: blackened brown
Surface: 2010: front & back airholes & micro-bubbles (needs better shaking/vibrating)
2016: much improved
Temper: 2010: uneven; oily; plastic transfer
2016: in the doldrums
Snap: 2010: click-clack, nearly brittle (again, temper + slight drying; more airholes along the cleave)
2016: upbeat
Aroma   7.6 / 10
clears the room... earth-quake wake-up call: jolting robusto coffee-grinds & exotic smoked bucare ceibo wood; almond skins mixed in

gamey... not the big African game (rhinos, hippos) but small game... + molasses bar-b-q sauce -- signs of over-fermentation (generally attenuated in the Flavor, see below)
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: smooth but a little seized
Melt: semi-elapsed, light-middleweight meltdown; almost quaffable
Flavor   44.3 / 50
fierce mocha java blast... dark thick & heavy... rocks the face off -> cream sub-stream -> chocolate bang does damage right between the eyes with contrastive papaya (beautiful) -> minor vanilla & flash cinnamon -> stalls & stretches back to plain chocolate, a bit muddy & wooden -> coffee resurgence -> finishes on a frosting lick; spiced brazil nut the after-length

base cocoa -> black sap -> brown sugar spice -> grain -> macadamia -> caramel -> talc close
Quality   16.1 / 20
Pretty on-point for Rio Caribe. A little bottom heavy with coffee undertones whose bold tannins, however, are sweetly surrounded in lite cream (the Ocumare 61 component of this hybrid?) which ultimately stands up a firm chocolate backbone. Good median-point processing, well-controlled bitter, though this crop could've tolerated & benefited from longer ferment cycle.

Confined & generally steadfast with medium depth. Surprising pyrazines / caramel / core cocoa flavor for a "raw" bar. None of the objectionable tags so pestilent with this category (save for the talc -- a residue generated probably in storage). Then again, cooking in the conche (or what passes for conches in the micro-craft movement) assists in generating those tones. But it also lacks the array found in the 70% (roasting + add'l sugar account for that). Still, highly respectable for the percentage & the "rawness".

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed October 2010
Revised July 5, 2016


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