Stuart Robson: 10-Feb-2011
|Source:||Sample from distributor / supplier|
There is quite a lot of interest surrounding Bolivia as an origin and that is hardly surprising given the sheer quality displayed by FelchlinÂ in their Wild Bolivian â€śCru Sauvageâ€ť. That being said, I have experienced considerable differences between various re-moulds of Felchlinâ€™s now classic take on Bolivia with some having left me more than a little disappointed. Bojesen have produced a very fine interpretation of the origin also and we can expect this to improve even further as it reaches release. With such a track record there can only be high expectations of anything coming out of Bolivia at this time.
Things look good from the outset here, mid brown, well moulded and with a clean snap. The finish is perhaps a little dull however and shipping has taken its toll with a few scuffs and marks. These are of minor significance however and are soon over shadowed.
The aroma is lively, attractive and typically Bolivian with a range of notes. It starts out rich with honey, molasses and a hint of raisin backed by a lighter touch of green nettle. Some floral notes appear along with a little light fruit and, when snapped a slightly musty, smokeyÂ balsamic note arrives but soon lifts off to leave floral honey and stone fruits dominating the nose.
On the palette it is the honeyed qualities that make the first impression before a hint of rosewater and apricot mingle alongside a touch of cream and a whisp of veryÂ slightly troublesome smoke. There is a lightly acidic back note that lifts the whole profile and gives this bar a surprising, almost minty freshness.Â The mid palette sees the arrival of a woody cast to the flavours and brings with it faint tannins, blackberry andÂ a touch of walnut. The mouth feel is very fine indeed, offering a fast, but impressively smooth and even melt. In the finish the floral aspects return along with the honey and hints of the apricot, fading to leave the palette clean and refreshed. This is classic Bolivia in many ways, offering impressive complexity and elegance.
This may not be quite as good as the very best examples of Felchlinâ€™s Cru Sauvage but, for my tastes at least, it offers more than many of the re-moulds currently on the market, and avoids Felchlinâ€™s often comparatively cloying mouth feel.
El Ceibo represents one of the heartening stories in cacao production, growing, transporting and working the beans into the final product. This is all done both in the country of origin, still a rarity, and all under the same banner while offering the farmers more security and a decent wage. While there may still be some work to do regarding post harvest quality control,Â they have produced aÂ well handled bar that harnesses a great deal of what these high quality beans have to offer.
Many thanks to Chocadores for the sample.