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Criollos +

by Arabuco Kai
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   
Strain Criollo   (+ Hybrids)
Source Puerto Rico   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   (in a Crossover bed)
Style Rustic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Agüeybaná II, the Taíno leader on the island Borikén (as Puerto Rico was know before Columbus), had his doubts about the "godly" status of the Spaniards. He came up with a plan to test this: along with Cacique Urayoán (leader at neighboring Añasco), they sent emmisaries to lure a Spaniard named Diego Salcedo into a river & drown him. They watched closely to make sure Salcedo's floating body did not revive. His death was enough to convince everyone that the Spaniards were not gods.

May Diego rest in peace.

People still have lingering doubts whether Puerto Rico's cacáo enjoys similar overblown mythos. Scroll down to discover if these bars dispel such notions.
Appearance   2.8 / 5
Color: muddied
Surface: rough & rugged
Temper: distressed
Snap: tension
Aroma   7.6 / 10
Raw
fetid, even fecal

Ciales
simple kids stuff: caramel-cocoa 'n vanilla

San Sebastian
cocoa forestry

Utuado
semi-flat until it tickles up melon-cotton candy
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: affirms its Surface appearance (see above)
Melt: sideways
Flavor   44.7 / 50
Raw
70% cacáo-content; Batch 48; near Utuardo, (west-central) Puerto Rico

cocoa dust -> lime-scented soap turns to floral bubbles -> clean, soft-malic stringent grip to close

Supposedly unroasted;& while it lacks the length that raws usually lack, its flavor warms considerably compared to most.

Ciales
70% cacáo-content; Batch 50; Ciales, (northerly central) Puerto Rico

direct transfer of the Aromatics, to the T, a huge vanilla plume (none listed as added) subsides into a little charred coffee shot

Classified as a Criollo cacáo crafted into chocolate. Mostly that amounts to sales hype. In the case of Puerto Rico, rife & ripe with Criollo studding more than dotting the island, it rings & moreover tastes true. Culled from but a single stand of about 20 trees. Translation: nano-lot.
A touch heavy-handed on the roast. A worthwhile representative nonetheless of the varietal & the origin.

San Sebastian
70% cacáo-content; Batch 51; San Sebastian, (northerly west) Puerto Rico

dried spice (cinnamon) -> vanilla -> tonka / hay -> cream fill to approximate a Dark-Milk -> stringent sandstone

From '1-tree farm' (re: a single Criollo tree on 15 acres)!
Rivals Esmeraldas on its better days

Utuado
70% cacáo-content; Batch 53; Utuado, (west-central) Puerto Rico

soft bite / softer flavor tags...
delicate flower -> melon & starfruit -> root beer -> sassafras -> canella (white cinnamon) -> cookie dough

Outstanding & exquisite. Serene & generous. A dilating palate-opener. This along with the Raw (above) best classified as a 'hodge-pod' of diverse varieties (Nacionals, Amazons, et.al.)
Quality   15.3 / 20
Any doubts that Puerto Rico boast pure & plentiful Criollo can rest assured & be put aside. As detailed years ago on this site, the island abounds with them.

Very basic craft from Dillian & Ivan of Arabuco Kai. With such a home-field advantage they hardly need much more than that.

Ancillaries aside, some entrancing flavors at their core DNA.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed March 22, 2017

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