Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (80%)
Strain Beniano   
Source Bolivia   (Alto Beni)
Flavor Crossover   (Naked x Earthen x Fruits/Flowers)
Style Neo-Modern      (Retro-American too)
Some are chips off the old block; others have chips on their shoulder. De Vries is a bit of both.

No cheating here, just balls out chocolate (cacáo beans 'n sugar) aged 4 months as part of an 80 pound clump. Despite that, a bit of the invisibility cloak in operation – that popular fantasy turned recent reality where 3-D objects are rendered invisible. Ultimately, this bar neither absorbs nor reflects flavor, instead allowing it to pass over the palate "like water flowing around a rock" or, better still, a big-block late 60's Chevy screaming down a straightaway.... whew... & gone.
Appearance   6 / 5
natural beauty; no pretty logos feeding the ego; old school; bonus point
Color: polychromatic: violet brown w/ grape red, plum purple, & burnt orange rays
Surface: Alto Beni
Temper: shimmering sequins
Snap: bingo – assertive, even percussive from a perfect thickness; soft sanded edge
Aroma   9.1 / 10
warm earth + raw sex nose of sweet, colorful, hi-altitude balance... brandied plums & chocolate raisins offset buttered greens & mellow citrus supported by wood, musk, mink, & minerals
Mouthfeel   12.2 / 15
Texture: starts un-pliable, stiff... fights for its melting point, then soft / yielding until...
Melt: sensuously undulating across the palate - oh baby, don't stop... even dispersal to the horizon of a mouth-desiccating finish (re: astringent)
Flavor   41.3 / 50
juicy grape cocktail pours it on & contrasts against dessicated cocoa -> slight alcohol (grapefruit) + small bitter (cypress) -> aged Chateau Rothschild -> feral chocolate -> goes squirrely into a muddy patch -> comes out w/ slippery tannins coated tin & silvery -> quinoa + hay -> buttery avocado & umbra truffles leads to another contrast: gripping plum & pomegranate astringency in the aft-taste
Quality   17.2 / 20
Some parallels to Felchlin’s Cru Sauvage (similar profile – though less delicate/light while retaining some of those attributes; roughly though by no stretch the same geographic area – sourced from neither Volker Lehmann at Rainforest Exquisite Products nor the self-described cocoa-connoiseur Chloé's El Ceibo Cooperative). As noted in that bar, the threshold is too low at 68%. De Vries correctly scales this to 80% for a bean that still proves benign, deceptively sweet, & quite possbily can tolerate even higher - that proverbial Bolivian donkey sitting on a gold mine.

Full throttle roast here that walks that fine line between perfection & overkill, matched with textbook grind & conch. Every nano-micron of flavor has been brought out of these beans with the good balance of sugar. The strong backbone breaks down, however, in mid-palate & randomizes; whence the lengthy evolution feels desultory, running out of concourse as if it has more to explore but at least a portion of the beans only partially fermentated by the end, an unusual turn-of-events considering De Vries customarily ferments to balsamic levels.

Chef’s Note: a great food chocolate….serve drizzled over roasted game with currant sauce…..woof!

ING: cacáo beans, sugar


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