Info Details
Country USA   
Type Brut   (100%)
Strain CCN-51   
Source Ecuador   (Manabí; Rancho San Jacintho)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Retro-American      
The deadly power of cacáo. Fearless & fierce – absolutely no regard for human life... whatsoever.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
homeless orphan dumped on the streets
Color: opaque gunga dun w/ magenta tint, at a shade lighter than expected for an unsweetened 100 from Ecuador & its usual purple-self
Surface: bubbles, gurgles, & whirlpools
Temper: semi-dull
Snap: resounding... on the mark for this %... just cements the eardrums & makes up for a lot of flaws in Appearance; surface bubbles translate into airholes on the edge break
Aroma   8.4 / 10
Classic ‘Arriba’ & then some: cocoa garland festooned w/ a hypnotic mix of orchids, dandelion, jasmine, honeysuckle, neroli, cinnamon, mango & papaya buried in a silo of toasted grains
Mouthfeel   12 / 15
Texture: plastic paste
Melt: NeverMelt™ gum
Flavor   38.1 / 50
wood bark wraps around chocolate -> very green walnut -> iron but w/ florid aromatics, a sort of steel-gilded flower -> goes rubbery & wobbles, losing structure... throwing it around w/ the reckless abandon of a BMX freestyle vert -> lands back in forest greens (palm fronds & climbing vines) -> glimmer of cocoa... relatively quik progression develops reverberating red chocolate in the after-taste for rapid decay/long finish paradox
Quality   16.3 / 20
Plantations rarely pays much attention to detail. Even the packaging has typos (the ingedients listed on this 100% cacáo-content bar include ‘sugar’). Likewise, the little things that can make a big difference in processing – especially at this brutal percentage - go begging.

Clean beans, though of youthful ferment / drying (RE: relatively short, often the case for Ecuador), generating clarity but incalculably green 'cacáo verde' & more truculent than need be (so much for “Arriba’s” fabled no-Forastero-bitterness) despite being as buttery as its forerunners of past vintages. Could also benefit from a slightly deeper roast plus re-configuring butter / emulsifier ratios (‘Nutritional Facts’ read ~46% fat content – quite possible - & if so lecithin then is over-stated & contributes to exaggerating Ecuador’s typically waxen texture as well as causing that randomized mid-palate, verging on total breakdown - which some may actually welcome given the strength of this varietal, of a force to pull it back from the brink).

Stern material yet good overall tolerance for its class.


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