August 24, 2007

Dagoba – Pacuare – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

The box for Pacuare is dark brown with pink trim, a scheme that matches the actual color of the chocolate quite well. However, the bar has been manufactured in the typical Dagoba vein, displaying no sheen and an overall rustic appearance that pales next to the urbane and chic box. Aroma is like a light and mildly acidic coffee, hiding strawberries in the background and also a distinct green mustiness found in many Indonesian coffees. Signs point to a darker-than-necessary roast, which may or may not be a bad thing. But with such a meager fruit component, we can pretty much assume where this bar will go.

The flavor begins with a vigorous coffee blast, which quickly evens out as the main tone and reveals subtle strawberry notes along the way. A dark roast has most likely been applied, perhaps to hide the subsequent greenness that faintly comes into the flavor. However, this finally tapers out towards the middle as honey adds a cool, sweet highlight to the chocolate, but from this point on, the flavor idles in coffee and doesn’t offer anything else for the remainder of the length.

Texturally, the bar is somewhat dry and grainy, never shaking the impression of a rustic orientation organic bars have historically assumed. So here, one is not necessarily surprised, just humbled since only flavor has changed over the years and not texture. Yet, what does surprise is that the cacao tastes inherently light, a fact that is detectable and made even more obvious by the darker nature of the flavor. The overall presentation therefore seems somewhat artificial and contrived, with certain flavors hidden by others. One doesn’t get a true sense of the origin here, or at least as it applies to leaving the cacao in a more spotless shape to deliver its natural notes, however unrefined and irregular they may be after fermentation.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot


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