Region: Alto Beni
Certifications: Certified Organic
Oh my goodness, where did the TWO chocolate bars on my desk go? Who are you looking at? I didn't eat them....I mean... I didn't mean to eat them...ok, I ate them and they made me happy!!
ATTENTION chocolate lovers, This is the chocolate you are looking for. It starts off....hang on, before I get into the chocolate, I want to talk about the elephant in the room and that is the crop year for this bean. It is 2018-19 and that is not a typo and these are no more 'old beans' than a fine old wine or block of aged cheddar is 'old'. No, they are all delightfully mature and wearing their age proudly. I'm quite serious. There are so many people looking for the freshest beans, thinking that means something more than it does. Anyone that tells you that fresh is best, always, is....I'll just say it...wrong. Yes, beans can go past their prime just like a wine can but no one can tell you when that is going to happen. That all said, these tasting notes are 100% current, made with these beans that were harvested 4 years ago, and if anything, I think they might be better now than they were a couple years ago. We'll chat about that. Let's carry on.
The aroma starts off big bold round chocolate notes and under currents of sun warmed, perfectly ripe blackberries. The blackberry backs off in the flavor, although it is still present, and you then have layers of clean sweet sugar, soft, delicate dried fruits (a creamy cherimoya comes to mind), a certain savory butteriness and a great chocolate backbone lacing it together all throughout. The bitterness and astringency present when this bean was more fresh, has backed off and melded together into a supple creamy symphony that has you craving just another bite. With those notes in the background, the natural sweetness just shines though and the tangy blackberry makes me think of blackberries and cream. Refreshing and delightful. Although not strong, the nut is a soft roasted peanut coupled with a delicate bottom note of earthy soft leather.
Ok, I'm going to go have another piece or two of this chocolate from my desk....it really is the chocolate you are looking for.
These are out of the Alto Beni region of Bolivia and much of the stock is from the same wild harvested tress. I find it terribly interesting how different the flavor profiles are given similar genetics but different cultivation and fermentation procedures.
As with many beans with Criollo stock, this cocoa will not blow you away with huge flavors. But very much like it's wild counterparts it is sure to wow you with it's character. To repeat myself (from the Wild Bolivians), this cocoa and the chocolate that can be made from it just makes me happy.