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VENEZUELAN SUITE:
Patanemo
Mérida
Raices
Carabobo
Café en Granos

by Bitácora
Info Details
Country Venezuela   
Type Semi-Dark   (+ Flavored)
Strain Hybrid   (Criollos in the mix)
Source Venezuela   (various locales)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Rustic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Vegetables, such as onions, can make people cry; fruit makes 'em laugh.

And bittersweet chocolate? Laugh until you cry, naturally.
Appearance   3.6 / 5
Color: on the red end of the spectrum
Surface: backside lunar-like craters
Temper: flash bulbs
Snap: explicit snaptronics
Aroma   8.4 / 10
Patanemo
cacáo verde (very green upfront)
spice (pepper) mixed in with grains
airs cocoa-tabac

Mérida
dripping sorghum & resins pool into a molasses catch-basin

Raices
sapped again & then gives way to trad Venezuela tags (hay, tonka, light nuts, perfumed butter)

Carabobo
caramelized-funk deep in the barnyard -> front nut sack -> comes to, somewhat, on smoked strawberry(!?!?)

Café en Granos
considerate coffee berry -- sharp yet soft, sweet 'n scintillating on a well-integrated platform of buttery leather -> airs out hash brownies
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: slick
Melt: stuck in some occasional fits (overly micronized?)
Flavor   43.8 / 50
Patanemo
77% cacáo-content; Patanemo, Estado Carabobo (Puerto Cabello region); produced in conjunction with Mantuano Chocolate

razzles & dazzles on a fruited caramel -- peach+passion, the latter accumulates strength as the melt progresses, indeed rises to dominate -> stringent cedar -> oaken aftermath

Bitácora supplies ample metrics on the processing (see graphic below). Fermentation at 58% rates medium-low; ditto the 119ºC / 246ºF peak roast temperature over a 25-minute curve. Both could stand some gain in order to quell that lively passionfruit quotient in the flavor.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter


Mérida
70% cacáo-content; Sur del Lago, Mérida State

very much the Aroma (above) accentuated by a brief papaya besotten in malted black strap molasses -> closing sweet cream -> almond-toffee in the post-melt

Strong & heavy; thick 'n dark for the most part. A preponderant flavor, outsized for 70%.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Raices
70% cacáo-content; Blend from Miranda, Aragua & Carabobo

soft citrus-inflected butter tickles the T-buds (T for Taste) -> supple nuts -> sweet spices -> tonka -> bluestone -> carob

Subtle profile all the way around. Fine-grade. Origin non-specific (the definition of a house blend). Raices also means 'roots' in Spanish & this nonetheless retraces that, seemingly, to the taproot.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Carabobo
70% cacáo-content; Patanemo, Estado Carabobo

opens up pale ale -> supple macadamia -> sugar streak rolls onto candied gingerbread -> almond skins -> malt ball -> granite -> cream back

Compact flavor (relatively narrow range) & so steadfast (from the jump to the last drop). Terrifically kind. Composed. All of which places it at variance from the similarly-sourced Patanemo bar (see above).
Carabobo... the Honey Boo Boo of chocolate.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Café en Granos
62% cacáo-content; Produced by Bitácora's colleagues at Mantuano Chocolate

fragrant coffee blossoms, heady & benign, steams thru the chambers, dominates a semisweet chocolate without overwhelming it... consider it 'mocha with 2 sugars, please' -> fab black-cherry cordial finale

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, coffee


Quality   15.6 / 20
An exposé on the regional cacáos of one, albeit broad, origin.

Whereas another barsmith -- the great Idilio -- sources exclusively Venezuelan cacáo & then transports the cocoa to Switzerland for processing, this startup stays home & does it all in-country.

The etymology of Bitácora borrows from the nautical binnacle for where the ship's captain stores his/her log & navigational aids. Its logo further depicts a floral seal associated with due north.

Bitácora... tacking the right course & clearly following the lodestar to locate prized cacáos all around them.

Reviewed April 24, 2018

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