A somewhat confused if acceptable chocolate. Not the typical fruity Venezuelan, this one actually seems more similar to an Ecuador Arriba. Darkness is the key here. A chocolate abounding in low notes, it will appeal much more to the earthy/coffee lovers than the fruity/spicy crowd.
Alex Rast: 29-Oct-2005
The format of this one is the same as the other varietals: 5 g squares, and it’s the first obstacle to get beyond. It’s also rather beyond me why they would only make it available this way, rather than in the 50g bars Amedei favours. In any case, once you actually unwrap enough to have a decent sample, the contents do look quite nice, smooth, darkish brown, well-finished, no apparent nonuniformities.
Aroma is strong and dark. There’s an initial smell of forest, both woods and earth, literally like being dropped into the forest primeval. There’s a note of blackberry here, and some cedar, and all in all the aroma is as if you were transported to the Pacific Northwest USA. A bit of tobacco shows up (OK, smoking in said forest), so that overall the aroma is both complex and brooding, a dense, impenetrable jungle.
Initially the flavour starts out fruity, that same blackberry of the aroma with some cream mixed in. At this point the roast takes over, quickly pulling the chocolate down into a very earthy base, slightly bitter although never badly so. A suggestion of melon appears in the aftertaste, so it’s not all heavy, dark flavours, but it’s mostly that – black and weighty, chocolate for the ponderous. Texture, surprisingly, is Amedei’s best, superbly smooth and creamy, and with an astonishingly perfect snap, crisp and super-clean.
It’s not a bad chocolate overall, but its not very characteristic of Venezuela. Wrapper unseen, one would expect an Ecuador Arriba, and with the darkness so clear and so enveloping, surely the issue here is dark roasting. Amedei might have gone a little far on the roast time here, clearing out most of the high notes and making for a chocolate vaguely suppressed. Amedei hasn’t ruined this one – indeed, they’ve made a very decent chocolate – but perhaps they clipped its potential just a bit.