Willie’s Cacao Venezuelan Gold Las Trincheras 72% 88/100


Las Trincheras is a cacao growing town, down the inland road from Puerto Cabello situated in the high altitude rainforest hills of the northern Venezuelan coast. A far west inland drive into the Carabobo region of Venezuela from where Willie Harcourt-Cooze grows his own cacao at the Hacienda El Tesoro. These prized trinitario beans once grown are shipped to Uffculme, a small town in Devon to Willie’s factory, where using antique machinery Willie begins the process of turning them into one of his delectable single estate cacao bars. Using only raw cane sugar and adding only a small amount of additional cacao butter Willie likes to keep things fairly simple, intending to bring out the subtle and individual flavours of each of his beans. You can read more about his factory on his website http://www.williescacao.com/world-cacao/factory-farm/the-chocolate-factory/


I’ve had this bar before, some years ago now, but I remember it fairly well, it was one of the first real cacao bars I had ever tried, along with Willie’s Indonesian and Madagascan, so I knew a little of what to expect this time. I had memories of nutty caramel, but I’d heard of people describing it as green or having vegetal like flavours, which I hadn’t remembered experiencing. This time round there was very little difference, I picked up a small amount of green apple, but otherwise this was the strong nutty caramels I remembered from last time. Rich and long, with a little more acidity than I expected, which came in spurts, this bar was a pleasure to eat.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Dark brown, light purpling
Texture: Smooth
Mould: Willie’s big square mould
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte sheen, smooth, consistent

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Rich chocolate, nutty
Quality: Rich, refined

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Soft, long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Smooth, buttery
Quality: Big, pleasurable

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 4
Notes: Raisin, rum, little green apple
Quality: Uplifting, well rounded, light alcoholic spikes

Sweetness 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Caramel
Quality: Well developed

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8.5
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Caramel, nuts, hazelnuts, light raisin, little green apple
Quality: Bold, distinctive

Length 9.5/10

Big long flavours last for an age and carry all the way through

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Burnt raisins
Quality: Flavours linger on after the last melt, pleasantly lingering

Balance 8/10

Flavours are complementary and work well together, bar is a little volatile and spikes in places, but is fun rather than unruly, consistent medium structure

Overall 9/10

Bar is clearly well developed and has individual expression, has big depth of flavour, but lacks dimension and complexity and some characteristics of refinement

Tasting Notes: It took only one taste of its Trinitario bean for me to succumb to its rich, nutty, smoothness.


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