Domori Chuao 70% 88.5/100

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Another of Domori’s rare criollo strains being grown at Hacienda San Jose, Chuao is more famously known for being grown in a village east of Choroni and Cuyagua on the northern coast of Venezeula, a part of the Parque Nacional Henri Pittier. There the infamous Chauo village has grown cacao in isolation for an age, cultivating a rare variety of criollo, which has gone on to win gold in the Academy of Chocolate awards no less than three times. This isolation allowed them to preserve this criollo variety from pests and disease in its own small microclimate, allowing it to thrive for a long time without cross breeding. Domori obtained some Chuao for cultivation at Hacienda San Jose and so here we have a bar of Chuao with a slightly different terroir.

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I’ve only tasted Chuao from Chuao village before and so my expectations were aligned with that particular terroir, my memories of Chuao were of refined chocolate that was smooth and distinctively chocolatey. The other flavours leaned towards red berries and jam and the bar had a distinct lack of bitterness, all in all it was very enjoyable and worth its reputation. This bar somewhat surprised me though, it was also different to the Chuao I’d had before, it was more atypically Venezuelan criollo, it was nutty and sweet, with traditionally almond, caramel and honey flavours with notes of creamy milk, which were fairly prominent for a bar with no added cacao butter. It was clear to see why this cacao enjoys such acclaim, but with a personal preference for bars with a little more fruit, I couldn’t help feeling that I’d enjoyed other Chuao bars more. For those who enjoy low acidity and a lot of chocolatey refined flavours, this bar is a pretty strong contender.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Pale dark brown
Texture: Smooth, dusty
Mould: Traditional 4 piece Domori mould, consistent
Snap: Very crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte sheen, smooth, consistent

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Caramel, honey, nuts, butter, milk
Quality: Rich dairy, distinctive

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Medium long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Cream, caramel, smooth
Quality: Very consistent, pleasurable

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 2
Notes: Buttermilk
Quality: Sourness of full fat milk carries the sugar sweetness

Sweetness 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Honey, caramel
Quality: Highly sweet, carrying the flavours, complementary, well developed, rich

Flavour 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Type: Sweet, sour
Notes: Honey, buttermilk, caramel roasted pecans, toasted almonds
Quality: Rich, honest

Length 9/10

Medium length of well rounded full flavours, good arc, pleasant journey

Finish 9/10

Notes: Full fat Jersey milk
Quality: Flavours linger on dissipating evenly

Balance 8.5/10

Leans heavily on its sweetness, all other aspects propping up the luxurious sweetness, sharp sweet light structure

Overall 9/10

Huge depth of well developed flavour, uniform structure, good degree of dimension


Domori’s Tasting Notes: An immediate perception of nuts, almonds above all, followed by honey, vanilla and cream: great sweetness and smoothness.

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