Lindy's Rating: 5.0 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 5.0 (previously **)
Los Rios is made from Arriba cacao beans from the Los Rios province of Ecuador. Unfortunately, Arriba and Nacional are not always meaningful when applied to Ecuador cacao beans. Although both names have good reputations as quality cacao beans, there does not appear to be any control on their usage. Also, for its greater productivity, more and more Forastero cacao is being farmed in Ecuador and mixed with the Nacional cacao. Please see my discussion of cacao trees for more information about cacao varieties.
This chocolate had an unusual mint aroma with a suggestion of coffee. Similarly distinctive was its very strong fig taste, the flavor of which dominated this bar. Some people noticed hints of allspice and musty, and one person detected bourbon. However, it was the overwhelming fig flavor that was the focus of discussion about this bar.
All in all, an interesting and perhaps unique chocolate. We'll have to try some other Ecuador chocolates in the future for comparison.
Unfortunately, we did not take an opportunity to photograph the opened chocolate bars at the tasting, so I only have a picture of the wrapper.