Pralus Venezuela Trinitario 75% 89/100

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This cocoa comes from Barlovento, East of Caracas, facing the Caribbean sea on the north Venezuelan coastline. This is a region of small villages and cacao collectives growing mostly Trinitario varieties creating slightly fruitier bars of Venezuelan chocolate than some of their norther criollo counterparts. Once harvested these beans are shipped to Pralus’s manufacturing plant in Roanne, where he turns them into his world famous chocolate bars.

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I’ve tried bars from around Barlovento and I’ve also tried bars from Pralus before. My expectations are for a refined cacao with chocolatey flavours, but with the addition of a small amount of fruit, in terms of the processing I would expect a darker roast and some creaminess to the bar. Opening the bar I’m presented with the Pralus slab and cube design, one of my preferred moulds for portioning, but I’m also presented with a pretty special and distinctive aroma. For me this bar feels like a slightly lighter roast for Pralus and also at the same time the type of cacao that benefits from a slightly longer roast, finding a happy medium between origin and chocolatier. Here the key success to this bar is the development, a development that has brought about a distinctive aroma, with developed and dimensioned flavours and sweetness. Yes there is a pleasant creamy mouthfeel and yes the acidity is complementary and provides some lift to the caramels and creams, but the key positive here is the development. This is a good all round bar, but what makes it even better is its individuality, it has all the refined nature of a Venezuelan coastal cacao, but with the added benefit of distinctive flavours that offer quality dimension The oxidised green tea notes taste like a high quality tea from a dedicated tea shop and the caramel is indicative of French confectionary, even the secondary notes of peach and chrysanthemum are swathed in quality. For those that like a refined and elegant chocolate, but more importantly one that is still interesting rather than easy on the palate, then this is that. This for me is a return to what I remembered and enjoyed about Pralus chocolate.

Ingredients: cocoa, sugar, pure cocoa butter, non-GMO soy lecithin

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Medium milky brown
Texture: Flaked fudge
Mould: Pralus slab and cube design
Snap: Crisp, loud
Temp/Shine: Glossy consistent

Aroma 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Intense cocoa, sweet caramel, nutty tobacco, oxidised green tea
Quality: Rich, distinctive

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Long, hard
Evenness: Even
Texture: Creamy, syrup, smooth
Quality: Full, confectionary, rich

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 4
Notes: Peach, oxidised green tea
Quality: Uplifting, complementary

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Caramel, vanilla fudge
Quality: Dimensioned, developed

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet, salt
Notes: Sweet caramel, oxidised green tea, soft peach, chrysanthemum, milk
Quality: Distinctive, developed, dimensioned

Length 8.5/10

Flavours are fairly long, developing slowly and stretching out. They’re rounded, but could go a little further and round off more prominently

Finish 9/10

Notes: Floral fruity tea, sweet caramel, milk
Quality: Floral fruity tea notes come to an end with sweet caramel notes tipping over the finish, leaving a lingering pleasant sweet milk flavour

Balance 9/10

Bar isn’t overtly balanced, but its refined and somewhat elegant nature carries it well, bar is complementary and is balanced in tone, medium structure provides some anchoring, as well as some freedom for flavour to dance

Overall 9/10

Bar has some depth of flavour, but is particularly dimensioned, there are complex refined flavours here that remain balanced, structure is fairly uniform and expression is distinctive and indicative of origin and processing


Pralus’s Tasting Notes: Sweet and floral aromas

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