In daylight, you can really see the bright redness and lightness of this chocolate, indicating a light roast, though this does also reveal some bubbles in the moulding.
The aroma is strong, full, perfumed, with honey, molasses and rich fruit cake.
Intial flavour has hints of grapes and lemon, but soon evolves into full cream and molasses, dark fruit with a deeply satisfying chocolate note developing in the back. At the tail end we get a little bitterness / grapefruit tempered by kiwi and strawberry, perhaps some herbal lemongrass.
Eaten in a casual way, this might come across as too sour for some palates, and the Pacari style certainly leads us to new places on the chocolate flavour map, so expect the unexpected.
There is a little dry waxiness at the end – after all this is nacional and we have to expect some tannins. The length goes on and on, with some bitterness, but good chocolate as well.
The texture is a little grainy and the melt is a little dry, but it’s hard to have complaints as the flavour is delivered so well.
Overall it’s hard to believe that so much fruit can come from nacional, though it’s a distinctly different palette from the high citrus and red fruits found in a good criollo.
The strength of the recipe at 72% gives enough backbone to balance the fruit sourness, creating perhaps a role model for the arriba flavour.