Solkiki Peru Maranon 68% 89.5/100


Made from Organic fortunato No.4 cacao beans, considered to be a pure Nacional bean from the Marañón river canyon of Peru, where they are grown at notably high altitudes. Once harvested and processed they are shipped to Iris and Bob in Dorset, where foregoing their degrees in Clinical Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction, they instead turn their passion and skills to turning these beans into one of their vegan chocolate bars. Using cobbled together equipment at their dedicated chocolate workshop, they stonegrind their chocolate using intensive labour in place of high tech gadgetry to produce their craft chocolate.


I’ve had plenty of cacao from Peru now, but if you asked me to describe Peruvian cacao, as an origin, I might struggle, the flavours from different beans, regions and bar makers have left me confused about what to expect. I’ve experienced everything from raisins to lemons to hazelnuts to honey to cherries and florals even berries and Christmas cake. So, for this bar I’m not entirely sure what to expect, I have noticed from ‘Piura Porcelanas’ or white Peruvian beans thought to be Nacionals that they exhibit a lighter sweet tone and have a tendency for less developed flavours like lime or delicate florals, So it’s possible this could be leaning towards the flavours of a lighter roast or lighter cacao. Opening the bar there’s the triangles and flowers of Solkiki’s design decorating their slab, almost immediately I’m hit by the aromas that are sweet and fruity in droves, reminding me of quality rosehip syrup and tinned strawberries mixed with this intense cocoa. To taste this bar begins a little difficult to pin down before I return to the fruit present in the aroma, there’s a light base of baker’s chocolate, but on top of that it’s all rosehips and wild strawberries with honey and some balancing cream. This is a particularly flavourful bar, but it does lack some refinement, while maintaining a slightly elegant floral profile it still manages to seem a little unrefined, a bit like a young ballerina. There’s good length, balance and finish too and you can tell this chocolate comes from great beans it just seems to need pinning down a little and in need of some additional development. If you’re bored of stereotypical chocolate flavours or in need of something powerfully flavoursome then this is probably the bar for you, sweet, fruity, acidic and fairly unique in profile, interesting if not perfect.

Ingredients: Organic fortunato No.4 cacao bean, organic bonechar-free cane sugar

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Medium light brown
Texture: Fudgey flake
Mould: Solkiki flower print slab
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Intense cocoa, rosehip syrup, honey, strawberries in syrup
Quality: Sweet, fruity, acidic

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Very Even
Texture: Smooth grainy paste
Quality: Texturally present, unrefined, firm

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Strawberry, rosehip
Quality: Bright, fruity, sweet

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Strawberry candy, rosehip syrup, light honey
Quality: Bright, confectionary, rounded

Flavour 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8.5
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Rosehip, miniature wild strawberries, bakers chocolate, cream, honey
Quality: Distinctive, fruity character

Length 9/10

Flavours are long and present, rounding fairly evenly on the sweet acidity while carrying off into the distance

Finish 9/10

Notes: Strawberry, rosehip, cream, honey
Quality: Fruits and sweetness make it to the end in big waves, before lingering on well after the finish with red sweet notes that are reminiscent of confectionary

Balance 9/10

Bar is sweet fruity and acidic and this threatens to overwhelm the balance, but a light floral elegance helps to steady the bar, structure is on the weaker side

Overall 9/10

Bar has big flavour that displays itself with a fair amount of depth and dimension, complexities fall loosely into balance, structure is weak and a little wavering, expression seems honest and expressive, although a little uncontrolled, processing is clearly designed to bring out flavor

Solkiki’s Tasting Notes: Notes of honey and raisin florals: Thought extinct for nearly a century this is the world’s rarest caca, Pure Nacional. The intense floral flavours are difficult to stabilize; the bean is notoriously temperamental and presents a terrific challenge to any chocolate maker. Incredible chocolate.


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