Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: Amano Cuyagua

Lindy's Rating: 7.0 (previously ***)
Richard's Rating: 7.0 (previously ***)

chocolate makerAmano
cacao trees(unknown)
size56g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.95

colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth with text imprints and scoring
aromafruit (fig), earth (soil), roast (cocoa), spice (mint, clove, vanilla), hint of sweet
snapmedium hard
tastesweet, fruit (fig, apricot), tannin, spice (clove)
finishsomewhat tannin

The cacao beans for Amano Cuyagua come from a secluded mountain valley of the same name. The two ounce bar was crafted from cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and whole vanilla beans. It was scored into 15 pieces, each with an imprint of "AMANO Artisan Chocolate" and Amano's emblem of a cacao tree branch. Wrapped in gold foil, the bar was packaged in a glossy black paper container with a print of a painting by Marcia Baldwin of a cacao flower. The best before date was December 2012 and the lot number was 3/4/67B.

The color of Cuyagua was a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The bar had a medium hard snap. Aromas from the chocolate included fig, an earthiness most remiscent of soil, and a rich cocoa roast. It also revealed several spices, including mint, clove, and vanilla, and a hint of sweetness.

In tasting this chocolate, Lindy noticed a brief bitterness at the beginning. The flavor included a mild sweetness, some fruit, substantial tannin, and a clove spice. The fruit was primarily the fig we smelled, with some apricot in addition.

The melt was smooth. The length was just barely into medium, with the flavor lasting about 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone. Lindy experienced the finish as tannin; to me, the tannin seemed a bit less strong. In any case, that final aftertaste remained for a long time.

Overall, we both rated Cuyagua a low ***. We liked it, but not as much as some of Amano's other bars, such as Montanya.

You can purchase Amano Cuyagua online for $8.95 directly from Amano for delivery in the U.S. and Canada.

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