Idilio Origins Finca Torres Choroni Venezeula 72% 85.5/100

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Part of the infamous Parque Nacional Henri Pittier on the Northern Venezuelan coast, Choroni has Chuao to its east, Cuyagua to its west, mountains to its back and the Puerto Colombia shoreline to ship its cacao from to the front. It also has a very local neighbour in the surrounding cloud forest in Vicente Fuentes who farms criollo cacao at Hacienda Torres, which Idilio are the exclusive chocolate bar maker for.  With their philosophy on selecting cacao from biodiverse farms with carefully curated fermentation and drying processes, as well as selecting only ‘noble’ varietals, it’s not surprising that Idilio and Vicente Fuentes fell into partnership together to produce this bar. Using their traditional techniques to produce this bar, the beans go through a 48 hour conche to develop into the finished bar.

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This is the third Idilio bar I’ve tried now and I’m beginning to get the impression that they lean a little on the milky side due to their Swiss origin, how this texture and flavour develops I don’t know. It is however, the first bar I’ve tasted from the Choroni village area, with my tasting experiences limited to the surrounding Venezuelan villages. If I’ve learnt anything so far it’s that while similar, all of these villages have distinct flavours that are individual to each area, I can only assume the dense forest and mountains help to keep the different cacao trees isolated in their own microclimates and encourage a more distinctive terroir. The only real expectation I was left with, was that the criollo cacao would have some intense cocoa notes and be of a generally refined quality. Upon tasting I found very little in terms of milkyness this time, this was more of an elegant and complex combination of refined chocolate flavours with orange fruit and a dash of florals. I enjoyed this bar probably a little more than the score suggests, owing to its really strong attributes of flavour and finish, whatever this bar lacked in length and the round it more than made up for by the end.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 8/10

Colour: Light milky brown
Texture: Smooth sandstone
Mould: Idilio ridged simple set squares
Snap: Thick/hard crisp snap
Temp/Shine: Matte sheen consistent

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Floral fruit, orange blossom, tea, apricot Turkish delight
Quality: Fragrant, perfume, elegant

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Soft medium/long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Jelly, lightly syrupy, juicy
Quality: Texturally pleasurable

Acidity 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 5
Notes: Apricot
Quality: Brightens chocolate, a little short

Sweetness 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: candied orange, confectioners’ sugar, floral honey
Quality: Pleasurable but lacks some refinement

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Sweetened orange peel, bitter orange, apricot, floral orange blossom, Turkish coffee
Quality: Pleasant, complex, distinctive

Length 8/10

Medium length flavours leave you wanting a little more

Finish 9.5/10

Notes: Apricot and orange blossom, with floral crystallised honey
Quality: Lingers for a while on after the finish with only the high notes

Balance 8.5/10

Flavours are complementary and work well together, attributes balance but it’s not exactly harmony, honey like structure is light but strong

Overall 8.5/10

Bar feels well developed but lacks some refinement and roundedness to some of its pleasurable qualities, flavour has complexity and depth and structure is uniform while expression remains individual

Idilio’s Tasting Notes: Well-balanced combination of coffee and plum aromas complements the distinctive, strong coffee flavour. Orange blossom, cinnamon and slightly sweetish raisin bouquet add to the aftertaste.

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