Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Escazú Carenero Venezuela

Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerEscazú
barCarenero, Venezuela
cacao trees(unknown)
size80g ~ 2.8oz
cocoa solids81%
added fatcocoa butter
other ingredients(none)
list price$5.99
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, scoring, bubbles
aromaearth (soil, must), roast (tobacco), sweet, dairy, fruit, hint of nut
snapmedium hard
tasteroast (tobacco), earth, fruit (cherry), dairy, nut, hint of anise
meltmore smooth
finishslightly sour earth
Escazú makes two pure single origin chocolate bars, their award-winning Guapiles, Costa Rica and this one: Carenero, Venezuela.

Carenero, Venezuela had 81% cocoa solids (including added cocoa butter made from the same cacao beans) and 19% sugar, with no added emulsifier or flavoring. The substantial 80 gram bar was scored into 24 pieces, wrapped in heavy gold-sided foil, and enclosed in a paper sleeve. There was no production date or best before date, and the Batch # space on the sleeve was blank.

The chocolate had a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. The surface was smooth, but there were small bubbles in several of the top corners of the pieces and a couple of minor surface imperfections. Overall, the bar had a good temper. The snap was medium hard.

The aroma of Carenero, Venezuela was primarily a combination of a tobacco roast and an earthiness that was mostly soil with some must, with the earth stronger than the roast. In addition, I smelled sweetness and scents of dairy, fruit and a hint of nut.

The taste had similar attributes, but with the strengths reversed: more tobacco roast than earthiness. Underneath those dominant flavors was a mixed fruit flavor that included cherry. I also found some dairy, nuttiness and a hint of anise.

After a slow start, the chocolate had a more smooth melt. The length was medium, with the flavor lasting 20 to 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was a slightly sour earthiness.

My initial impression of this chocolate when I tried it at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in October was excellent. However, reviewing it more formally over the past two days, I found that while it had some great qualities, the taste and finish did not appeal as much as I remembered, so I rated it overall as 6.0.

You can purchase Carenero, Venezuela for $5.99 online directly from Escazú, or, to combine the purchase with other brands, from Chocolopolis.

No comments:

Post a Comment