Puertomar pretty much translates as ‘sea port’, which is in no doubt reference to Ocumare de la Costa, a northern coastal town of Venezuela in the Parque Nacional Henri Pittier, where the Ocumare 61 variety of cacao is grown. With many numbered varieties, Ocumare is probably most famous for numbers 61 and 67, Puertomar itself using Ocumare 61 grown at Hacienda San Jose. Ocumare varieties aren’t necessarily grown in Ocumare de la Costa or even in the Ocumare valley at Ocumare del Tuy, the name refers to the initial origin of the variety, where it has come from rather than where it is grown now. Both Ocumare 61 and 67 are considered to be criollo varieties despite the many distinctions in numbers, which might to some suggest a degree of hybridization. What is clear though is that the delicate beans require some careful handling and tend to benefit from a lighter roast to bring out the complex flavours.
I’ve not tried Ocumare cacao before and so I was again relying on my knowledge of Venezuelan cacaos for my expectations. Having tried a few of the Venezuelan Criollo collection from Domori now, I’d be silly not to expect a refined chocolateyness dominating the flavour followed by some of the subtleties inherent in the beans coming through, roasted and developed no doubt to make these delicate flavours available. Having tasted the bar, some aspects became apparent quickly, the aroma of chocolate and raw cacao bean, the consistent mouthfeel, the nutty chocolate flavours, all very similar to the other Venezuelan criollos. Where this bar opened up on its own was in the cherry like acidity, the cherry jam like sweetness and the development of cherry like flavours. Essentially this bar is good at two things all at the same time, it’s great at being a refined chocolate, but also being fruity and flavourful at the same time. I really enjoyed this bar and it expressed some of the disparate things I like about chocolate, but all in one bar.
Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar
Colour: Pale earth, greying brown
Texture: Very smooth, tight
Mould: Traditional 4 piece Domori mould, consistent
Snap: Near crisp, slightly fragmented break
Temp/Shine: Matte sheen, smooth, consistent
Notes: Chocolatey, ripe cherry, raw cacao bean, kirsch
Quality: Rich, fragrant, lightly alcoholic
Length: Soft, long
Evenness: very consistent
Texture: Smooth, Jammy, Turkish delight
Quality: Pleasurable, well rounded
Notes: Sharp cherry
Quality: Well rounded, very complementary
Notes: Cherry jam,
Quality: Honest, complex, ripe fruit
Type: Bitter, Sweet
Notes: Nuts, walnuts, toasted almonds, cherry jam, creamy cherry yoghurt
Quality: Clear honest flavours, distinctive
Bold and distinctive flavours stay the length undulating over and under each other
Notes: Cherry jam, cocoa, kirsch
Quality: Cocoa and kirsch linger with some presence after the finish, drying but sweet
Flavours and styles compete in this bar for their place at the front, but work wonderfully well together, complementary rather than balanced, with strong and heavy structure
This bar remains balanced in its complexity and is well developed in sweetness and flavour, structure remains heavy throughout and the beans are well expressed. Ultimately rewarding.
Domori’s Tasting Notes: Puertomar has notes of cream, spices, almonds and cherry jam with excellent smoothness and sweetness.