Domori Venezuela Sur Del Lago 70% 87/100

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Translated roughly as south of the lake, these beans are grown just south of lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, not too far from where the famed porcelana grows, before being shipped to None, a town just south of Turin in the Piedmont region of Italy. There they are shaped into one of Domori’s iconic 25g bars and at around £5 for just 25g of chocolate, Domori’s bars may seem a little steep, but you’re not paying for quantity here, you’re paying for the craft and you’re paying for the experience. Domori have been making chocolate bars since 1997, so it’s no surprise that over the years they’ve attained a strong ability to craft chocolate bars in their own style. Having invested in Hacienda San Jose in 2002 they set themselves up to be a significant supplier of Venezuelan cacao, which some consider to be the best in the world. Here we have a bar from lower down the rung of prestige in terms of its regional origin, but no less interesting to me in terms of tasting. Chocolate Spot describes the varietal of cacao from this region as ‘now a mixture of a wide variety of genetic material, Criollo, Trinitario, Pajarito, constituting a natural blend From 1 of 2 regions of Venezuela’.

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From my peripheral knowledge of the Sur Del Lago region my expectations for this bar were that it would be dark in tone, with a leaning towards an earthier taste of the refined nutty chocolate expected of most Venezuelan varieties, I was also aware that in high percentage quantities Sur Del Lago cacao had the potential to be a little bitter. In general I tend towards a preference for balanced fruity bars, So I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this bar, but I was hoping it would be the best it could be. After tasting I feel I got a lot of what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of what I expected and I was impressed by the craftsmanship involved in the processing of the bar. The bar for me was a good display of strong robust nutty chocolate flavours, well balanced and crafted with long well rounded flavours.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Dark earthy brown
Texture: Soft middle, a little sandy on the break
Mould: Nicely portioned, attractively embossed mold
Snap: Near crisp
Temp Shine: Strong shine with swirl on the back

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Almond, deep cocoa, tobacco, a little cherry and xmas spice
Quality: Rich, bold and fairly intense in quality

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Medium
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Smooth, big, almost juicy
Quality: texturally enjoyable

Acidity 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 3
Notes: Lemon rind
Quality: Good balance, uplifting

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Honey, some caramel
Quality: Good balance for somewhat bitter cocoa

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Type: Bitter, sweet, almost salty
Notes: Liquorice, baked chocolate sponge, nuts, almond, coffee
Quality: Flavours build to strong and lasting, big, refined

Length 9.5/10

Long big flavours, well rounded, consistently powerful

Finish 9/10

Notes: Honey, cocoa, almond
Quality: Sweet, dry

Balance 8.5/10

Leans a little to the side of roast and bitter, but overall well balanced. Complementary flavours with a bold structure

Overall 8.5/10

Refined, strong identity, light complexity, strong dimension

Domori’s Tasting Notes: With its almond and coffee notes, Sur Del Lago is extremely elegant with a round, long-lasting flavour.

 

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