Region: Alto Beni
Certifications: Certified Organic
This particular cocoa has a nice mild but definite chocolate flavor. There is black pepper and Bing cherry in the nose overlaid with chocolate. The black pepper backs off in the flavor, although it is still present, and you then have layers of burnt sugar, soft, delicate dried fruits, a certain savory butteriness and a great chocolate backbone lacing it together all throughout. There is supporting Brazil nut bitterness and grapefruit astringency but both lend to body and are nice integrated.
The other thing I want to point out is that these are indeed from 2016. I am helping out someone that had stock that due to our current COVID situation needed to find them a home. Please look at the spider charts though. I've put up the one I produced 3 years ago when I had these. I of course tasted this new shipment blind and it is utter remarkable to me how similar they are, so please don't fret that they are too old. They have held just wonderfully.
These are out of the Alto Beni region of Bolivia and much of the stock is from the same wild harvested tress. I find it terribly interesting how different the flavor profiles are given similar genetics but different cultivation and fermentation procedures.
As with many beans with Criollo stock, this cocoa will not blow you away with huge flavors. But very much like it's wild counterparts it is sure to wow you with it's character. To repeat myself (from the Wild Bolivians), this cocoa and the chocolate that can be made from it just makes me happy.
Mostly don't be afraid to roast this fully. Too many people think they need to keep it gentle due to the delicate flavors but what the result overly gentle treatment is that the chocolate and fruit flavors are not developed and you end up with more apparent bitterness and astringency. x/2.5/4 @ 256-258 F does just fine on this. You can keep the EOR temperature a bit lower if you want less dried fruit and more juicy fruit. I'd not go over 260 F or you might turn the nut flavors bitter.