January 30, 2011

Original Beans – Beni Wild Harvest

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Written by: Martin Christy

A thin bar in an attractive mould with a ‘starburst’ design, each piece elegantly curved, giving some thickness on eating. Snap is a thick click.

Very lightly coloured, could be easily mistaken for a milk bar to the casual sampler.

The aroma is thick fruit, honey, tobacco, blueberry and strawberry jams. There’s the slightest hint of musty, acidic vinegar, but this is not too troubling.

Instantly alive on the tongue with strong molasses, followed by yellow fruits, floral honey, rising up steeply into strong blackberry jam and rum. Chewing brings out some butter, followed at the end again by molasses. Quite a journey. Length is mild toffee, yellow fruit, lightly tannins and developing back up again into a pleasant sweetness/treacle.

Very well made, as is to be expected from Felchlin. Melt is good, arguably a little glutinous, but this is not a problem at all as the flavour is delivered so well.

Definitive of the Bolivian Beni notes and easily the best of the Beni chocolates, and for me the best of the current Original Beans range. A huge improvement on the last Original Beans batch of Beni, and any of the other Beni Savi / Cru Savage chocolates also made by Felchlin.

The flavour profile is quite similar to the Bojesen Wild Bolivian, but Original Beans just pips it because of manufacturing quality (but then the Bojesen is still in development).

Either way, a huge move forward for Bolivia and Original Beans.

About the Author

Martin Christy
Martin Christy is Seventy%’s editor and founder and is a leading voice in the chocolate industry, promoting the cause of fine chocolate and fine cacao and those who produce them. With twenty years’ experience of fine chocolate, he has travelled extensively visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. Martin is Judging Director of the International Chocolate Awards, which he founded in the UK with Kate Johns of Chocolate Week. He is also Acting Chairman of the new fine cacao and chocolate industry association, Direct Cacao and is a member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Tasting Panel. He is also a freelance writer about fine chocolate, contributing to UK magazines and several books about fine chocolate.



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