In the northern most tip of Peru’s coastline, north of neighbouring Piura lies Tumbes, where a prized strain of criollo is grown. Not only is this rare criollo full of flavour, but it is also grown biodynamically, without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertiliser, something which is particularly important to Wilkies. Once harvested the beans are shipped to Cork in Ireland where Wilkies take particular and intimate care over every element of the production process, in order to bring the full potential of the beans out, in their chocolate bars.
I’ve tried a bit of Peruvian chocolate now, but I’m not sure I could accurately pin down the flavour profile of Peruvian cacao in general, with varied genetics and growing regions I’ve experienced a wealth of flavours coming from their cacao. From nutty caramel profiles to the east, deep raisin acidity more centrally, sweet and delicate flavours from Piura nacionals and now with this example of north western coastal cacao my expectations are open. Upon opening the bar I’m hit by intense aromas that remind me of Christmas, of spiced cakes and rich sugars. To taste I’m hit by similar flavours but with additional tart berry acidity and some florals. In general my impression with this bar is a good one, there are some small niggles, but for the most part it is pleasing, moreish and powerful. It has a strong, pleasant aroma, with great length and a decent finish and variable flavours that dance around over the course of the melt, there is a lot to appreciate here. I have a gut feeling that this bar would go down well with a dry sherry.
Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter
Colour: Dark brown, light purpling
Texture: Mixtures of smooth and gritty sandstone
Mould: 3 x 6 wavy squares, appropriately portioned
Snap: Fairly crisp, light thud
Temp/Shine: Consistent shine
Notes: Cinnamon, Christmas cake, raisin, baked purple plums, tobacco, rum
Quality: Rich, authentic
Evenness: Very even
Notes: Tangerine, tangerine rind, rum, sea buckthorn
Quality: Balancing, lightly tart
Notes: Dark Muscovado
Quality: Developed, slightly effervescent
Type: Sweet, Bitter
Notes: Rich cocoa, light lavender, Christmas cake, raisin, bitter citrus peel, sea buckthorn Quality: Deep, rich
Flavours are long and powerful developing in the round
Notes: Bitter cocoa, bitter citrus peel, juicy spice and cocoa
Quality: Bitter cocoa and citrus peel finish the round before the mouth becomes juicy and is like with lingering cocoa and spice.
Bar is not overtly balanced, but most attributes hang in harmony, acidity needs a little more power and roundedness to truly balance the bar, but it remains complementary all the same. Medium structure allows for flavours to calmly dance around
Bar has a lot of depth and a good degree of dimension to its flavour, not particularly complex, but flavours definitely develop over the course of the melt and development in the roast is particularly good, structure is uniform and expression is individual
Wilkies Tasting Notes: Enjoy a slow release of chocolate and berries, leading up to an intense citrus finish, this tumbes bar will awaken your taste buds to a whole new experience