Innato Peru San Juan De Cheni 72% 90.5/100

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This bar is made with cocoa beans from the jungles of the Junin region of central Peru. Once harvested these beans are processed in Chincha, just north of pisco at Innato’s factory, a subsidiary of Grupo Romex, the second largest exporter of cacao beans in Peru. Continue reading

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Innato Peru Jaen 72% 90.5/100

 

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This bar is made with cocoa beans from the jungles around Jaen a city in the north of Peru east of Piura, near the border of Ecuador. Once harvested these beans are processed in Chincha, just north of pisco at Innato’s factory, a subsidiary of Grupo Romex, the second largest exporter of cacao beans in Peru. Continue reading

A.Morin Peru Chanchamayo 63% 89.5/100

 

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This bar is made with cocoa beans from Chanchamayo, almost halfway between Tarapoto and Cusco, east of Lima in the foothills of the Andes. Once harvested these beans are shipped to The chocolate factory Morin located in Donzère, in the south of France, which has been making chocolate since 1884. Continue reading

Zotter Labooko Peru Huallaga Nativo 75% 91.5/100

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This bar is made with a native cocoa of trinitario variety thought to be a hybrid of criollo and forastero. This cocoa is grown in the Alto Huallaga region in the upper reaches of the Huallaga river, just south of Tarapoto in Peru. Once harvested these beans are shipped to Bergl in southern Austria, where Josef Zotter turns them into one of his innovative chocolate bars. You can read more about Zotter’s long and varied history here – https://www.zotter.at/en/about-zotter/biography.html

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 If there’s a theme when I write about chocolate from Peru, it’s that the country is large and extremely biodiverse with a ridiculous wealth of microclimates. From the Andes mountains in the north, to the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Amazon Rainforest in the south east, the climate is varied to say the least. If you tried to pin down Peru as a single origin you’d be struggling. Even describing the flavour profiles of a region like Piura would have you floundering, such is the variety and diversity of flavour exhibited by Peruvian cacao. There’s probably not a place where this is truer than in the Amazonian jungle region of north east Peru. I’m beginning to get a feel for the cocoa that’s from around the Maranon river and growing in areas around Tarapoto, but there’s enough diversity in the genetics, never mind the farms, with criollo, trinitario, nacional and amazonico varieties all growing within neighbouring regions. Here we have a trinitario variety, so I’d expect a good level of fruitiness with the possibility of a high middling acidity. Given my recent experiences I’d expect to find some spice alongside the fruit and a good chance of honey, but with the diversity of this region I’m always fairly open minded. My main hope is that this chocolate is as distinctive as the others from the Amazonian areas of Peru. Opening the packaging I’m presented with two bars, one for now and one for later – the best way to enjoy chocolate – with a glossy looking darker brown chocolate. Breaking off a piece reveals aromas of creamy cocoa with sweet florals and some apple skin notes in the finish. Placing a piece in my mouth this chocolate begins creamy with a buttery caramel texture that is both soft and full at the same time. To taste this chocolate displays trinitario like qualities, but in place of the fruit is a rich set of butter, caramel and baked goods flavours all tied together with a soft natural balance. There’s opening flavours of lightly baked cookie dough, butterscotch, buttery caramel, cream fudge and blondies (white brownies), tasting like the best of a artisanal bakery’s daily offerings. This is one for those who like softer flavours and a rich sweetness. Best enjoyed with quality vanilla ice cream, rum from Guyana, baked apples or traditional cappuccinos.

Conch Time: 22 Hours

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Darker brown
Texture: Smooth, light dusty grain
Mould: Zotter print slab
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Creamy cocoa, sweet florals, apple skin
Quality: Clean, perfumed, sweet

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Creamy, buttery, caramel
Quality: Smooth, soft, full, creamy

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 3
Notes: Apple skin, lemon zest
Quality: Balancing, sharp, short

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Butterscotch, buttery caramel, cream fudge, light muscovado
Quality: Rich, buttery, golden, baked

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Type: Sweet
Notes: Barely baked cookie dough, butterscotch, fudgey caramel, blondie, green apple skin, lemon zest
Quality: Soft, light, golden,

Length 9/10

Flavours while soft, are long and present, making soft rounds on peaks of acidity

Finish 9/10

Notes: Butterscotch, blondie, green apple skin, lemon zest
Quality: Butterscotch and blondie flavours make their way through the end picking up notes of green apple skin and lemon zest in the finish leaving the lingering sense of having eaten a cookie

Balance 9.5/10

Bar is soft with a strong natural balance, firm structure provides tonnes of anchoring and stability with enough freedom for expression

Overall 9.5/10

Bar has good depth and good dimension, complexities are well balanced and structure is consistent, expression is honest with processing encouraging balance and smooth buttery mouthfeel



Zotter’s Tasting Notes:
In our bean to bar manufactory, we turn this pure, noble cocoa into a 75% chocolate, only briefly conched in order to preserve the cocoa’s very singular charisma. The finished chocolate receives a shot or pure , raw cocoa mass, intensifying the Nativo’s flavour profile quite considerably.

Chocolate Makers Peru Awajun Dark Milk 52% 92.5/100

 

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This bar is made with criollo cocoa beans from the Amazon jungle in the north east of Peru, grown by the Awajun Indians. Once harvested these beans are shipped to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where Rodney and Enver turn them into one of Chocolate Makers chocolate bars. Continue reading

Chocolate Tree Peru Maranon Milk 60% 92.5/100

 

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This bar is made using Nacional beans from Marañón canyon at the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Once harvested these beans are shipped to Chocolate Tree’s Factory at The Bothy Knowes Farm in Dunbar where husband and wife team Alastair & Friederike Gower turn these beans into one of Chocolate Tree’s chocolate bars. Continue reading