Idilio Origins Carenero Urrutia Superior 70% 78.5/100

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Named after the northern port town from which they ship, Carenero beans are grown in the Miranda province of Venezuela. Before shipping from Carenero they grow a little further south in Barlovento, some of the beans are then shipped to Basel in Switzerland for some expert Swiss chocolatiership in order to turn them into an Idilio Origins chocolate bar. Idilio Origins have a specific philosophy for selecting their cacao and a passion for using traditional techniques to process it. Their philosophy is best described on their website, where they explain that they only select cacao from biodiverse farms with carefully curated fermentation and drying processes, as well as selecting only ‘noble’ varietals from direct trade producers that can be efficiently shipped to Switzerland. Once the beans land in Switzerland, they use finish rolling and traditional conching techniques to bring out the delicate flavour of the Carenero beans. Carenero beans are considered some of the fruitiest of the Venezuelan cacaos owing to their trinitario heritage, which makes them stand out amongst the other varietals growing in the region.

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Having tried a few Carenero bars in the past I had some inclinations of what to expect with this bar, having experienced some softly acidic tropical fruit flavours previously, I expected the bar to be bright and fun to taste. I hadn’t given much thought to the bar maker being from Switzerland, but it should have occurred to me that the texture and tone of the bar was likely to be leaning in the direction of milky creaminess. Overall I enjoyed this bar and it had some interesting and exciting flavour elements to it, I’ve tried bars like this, but none with this exact combination of elements. The bar worked well at being fruity and creamy, but more importantly it was interesting, the flavours were developed, but I feel in the end it was missing some depth and complexity to turn it into a great bar.

Ingredients: Cocoa paste, cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Light milky brown
Texture: Soft, smooth
Mould: standard molding, good portioning, lined top
Snap: crisp snap
Temp/Shine: smooth matte shine, consistent

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Smokey, caramel, burnt toffee, dark wood, background spice and raisin
Quality: Rich, fragrant

Melt/Mouthfeel 8/10

Length: Hard medium/long
Evenness: Fairly even
Texture: Light effervescence, mainly creamy
Quality: pleasantly creamy

Acidity 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Lychee, sweet bean curd
Quality: Bright, strong in the balance

Sweetness 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Powder sugar, light colour caramel, Asian sweetness
Quality: Little synthetic, quite strong, pleasant

Flavour 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Type: Sweet
Notes: Sweet sugary fruit, lychee, apricot curd, elderberry, vanilla, touch of coffee on the finish
Quality: Little synthetic, but also exotically sweet like curds and Asian Desserts

Length 7.5/10

Medium/long flavours, a little short in the round

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Milk chocolate, vanilla, creamy
Quality: Slowly dissapating

Balance 7/10

A little uneven, fairly complementary, volatility in the fruity sweetness

Overall 6.5/10

Enjoyable but missing an edge, lacking roundedness, refinement and proper balance, has some complexity but lacks depth

Idilio Origins’ Tasting Notes: Fresh exotic fruits, Lychee, slight spice and background vanilla.

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