Interesting Peruvian chocolate strikes out in a very spicy direction. This has very few of the more familar chocolate taste elements and in that respect is a novelty – but is it mainly good for the novelty value? There’s more than a hint of an experimental, unrefined chocolate here – out of character with the Cru line which is supposed to be Domori’s high-end range. It could be good with time but perhaps at present needs some fine-tuning.
Hans-Peter Rot: 16-Mar-2007
On the front side, Apurimac looks great in its simplicity and polished appearance of rusty orange. But as usual for Domori, a flip to the backside reveals the Mr. Hyde to this Dr. Jekyll, with a bumpy and rugged looking surface. Turning to the aroma, the ferment conveys its dominance so acutely that further probing yields little in regards to the roastĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s effects. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s green, for sure, but it also has some melon and apple for familiarity. Overall, though, this is a raw aroma, boldly pushing the boundaries; it’s probably the closest resemblance to cacao beans you can get in a bar.
The flavor echoes melons and apples, making for a cool and refreshing counter to the vibrantly pronounced raw tone that hovers insistently throughout. This pretty much derails expectations for improvement in the chocolate, even for Domori who usually veers to the wilder side of things. However, a stronger sense of normalcy arrives towards the end as the chocolate becomes more intense and chocolaty in flavor, taking on a slight bitterness as well. But the flavor as a whole seems somewhat undeveloped and repressed, trying to break free from the limitations Domori placed on it.
Texture is about the only aspect of this chocolate that seems refined and consistent. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s super smooth and creamy, contributing a desirable thickness yet also an unfortunately short length. ApurimacĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s flavor may at first be difficult to grasp due to the extreme nature of its rawness. It seems that Domori may have gone just a tad too far this time since the result of this extreme approach is a light chocolate with a profile so laden with the ferment that the lasting impression is of mossy vegetation and not chocolate. Apurimac is therefore more representative of Domori’s style rather than the origin, thus making this chocolate a perfect candidate for those seeking a bar where this distinction is easy to discern.
Alex Rast: 11-May-2006
Domori’s bar looks a bit forbidding upon unwrapping (again with that irritating plastic inner wrapper) – with no score marks you are looking at a pure slab. It’s very smooth and free of obvious mould imperfections, but just a little flat – not a super-high-gloss sheen to this one. Colour is rather like Domori’s typical – on the light side.
The aroma is strongly piquant, cinnamon coming to the fore, with some suggestions of melon. Also present is a buttery phase containing secondary grassy notes, very much as if Domori had inserted some high-quality butter right into the bar. Individual elements may have some softness but the overall impression is hard and punchy. So from the start the intimidation factor is intense.
Flavour is actually considerably more accessible, if decidedly unusual. The melon is the most noticeable immediate taste, and then it becomes very earthy, suggesting mushroom and moss, somewhere damp and cool. This flavour is just a bit too raw, too elemental to be truly satisfying, although it certainly is unusual and as Domori has demonstrated with Puertomar/Ocumare 61 can be effective when well-modulated. The finish, again unexpectedly, bears the cinnamon piquancy of the aroma – something one would think might hit earlier, along with a cheesey character, clashing just a bit more than desirable. Lots of unusual and potentially exciting flavours here, just not very well integrated. It’s a bar that presents a jumble of flavours.
Texture is by contrast impeccable, ultra-smooth and creamy, and with a density that is extremely gratifying, lending the chocolate heft and substance in the mouth. It’s too bad that Domori, with its perfection of the art of texture, seems a little wild in the flavour: this is an interesting cacao and it would be nice to see this in a more harmonious presentation. But the sense here is of a chocolate prematurely released, an experiment in progress. One may commend Domori for its boldness in bringing out essentially chocolate prototypes, but they might do well to concentrate on getting the chocolate to a well-defined point before bringing it out. Wait a few years – this chocolate might turn into a gem.