Casa Bosques Segundo Chocolate Flor De Sal Venezuela 72% 90/100

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This bar is a blend of Carenero beans, which are grown in the Miranda province of Venezuela with some beans coming from growing regions in Barlovento and Rio Caribe beans, which are grown in the north east of Venezuela from in and around a small fishing town to the east of Carupano, the larger and former designation town. Having been rebranded as Rio Caribe after Carupano fell out of favour due to its trinitario heritage, owing to its proximity to Trinidad and Tobago, when compared with its western criollo competition, Rio Caribe has now found favour again in chocolate circles. Their production team is also a bit of a blend, with a Mexican master chocolatier J. Llanderal and Savvy a creative design studio collaborating on the production of exquisite chocolate bars, with exciting packaging and branding. This their second offering features the inclusion of Flor de Sal de Colima, Mexico, a salt that the team came across on their seasonal tour of the cocoa producing routes. You can read more about their bars here http://casabosques.net/en/category/projects/chocolates-en/

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I’ve had both Carenero and Rio Caribe chocolate and while different, both are noticeably refined. Which leads me to believe that these beans have been selected to provide a refined chocolatey flavour, with the trinitario beans being used to offset the savoury nature of the salt. I’ve always enjoyed the combination of the salt and chocolate, feeling like the salt helps accentuate the flavours in the chocolate, but that it worked best with darker less fruity chocolates in terms of flavour balance. Opening the bar it’s clear there’s some good chocolatiership here, with glossy crisp snaps and intense and refined aromatics, after that the bar becomes a buttery bourbon biscuit with the sugar replaced by salt. While bar has a mild lime acidity, the tang of the salt, which while sharp is also rounded, takes the place of any bright acidity. In general I find this bar teetering between 8.5 / 9, but it’s the dimension of the flavour and the quality of the ingredents ingredients that has it making it to the 9’s. This bar has a great flavour, but in a way feels more like a showcase for the salt than it does for the cacao, fortunately the salt has a very good flavour. In the end this is high quality refined and rich cocoa that does the simple things well, excited by a flavourful and sharp salt that makes its presence known. Complementary but not harmonius with the salt taking centre stage.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, sugar, sea salt

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Darker brown
Texture: Hard, smooth
Mould: 6 x 4 simple squares
Snap: Very Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy, consistent

Aroma 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Intense cocoa, citrus rind, citrus bitters, violet
Quality: Earthy, aromatic, refined

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long, hard
Evenness: Even
Texture: Smooth, buttery
Quality: Refined

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 3
Notes: Lime, salty tang
Quality: Balancing, sharp

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Caramel, buttery demerara sugar
Quality: Developed, uplifting, dimensioned

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8.5
Type: Sweet, bitter, salt
Notes: Earthy rich cocoa (bourbon), salt, biscuit, browned butter, demerara sugar
Quality: Sharp rounded salt, refined

Length 9.5/10

Flavours are robust and long from the chocolate with sharp flashes of salt appearing throughout the melt

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Ganache, cocoa, salt
Quality: cocoa cleans away slowly, leaving salt flavour to linger

Balance 9/10

Salt does come to dominate at times, but the chocolate is incredibly well balanced, refined and dependable it remains consistently structured and balanced throughout

Overall 8.5/10

Chocolate has some depth and a good degree of dimension of flavour, it remains sufficiently complex and balanced, chocolate development is high and indicative of rich coastal Venezuelan cacaos, bar is in parts a stronger showcase for the salt than the chocolate


Tasting Notes: The second chocolate Forest House is made from totally pure Venezuelan cacao.  In this spring edition 2012 a mix of Criollo and Trinitario, from the regions of Upper Carenero and Rio Caribe, it is characterized by a touch of bitterness with fruity tones, and when combined with Flor de Sal de Colima, Mexico, achieved an interesting and exquisite taste. This sophisticated artisan chocolate is the result of a collaboration between a Mexican master chocolatier, of over twenty years of experience and a creative studio focused on developing brands and permanent products.

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