April 13, 2011

Amano – Cuyagua 70%

More articles by »
Written by: Stuart Robson

The latest bars by Amano all seem to be finished to a very high standard and the Cuyagua is no exception.   The temper is very fine giving a glossy, even finish and a sharp, clean snap.  The colour is fairly light but with a deep, umber-like hue.  Few blemishes are present with only the typical swirling consistent in all of Amano’s work to speak against it.

The aroma is soft and gently fruity with top notes of ripe apricot/nectarine, maraschino cherries and soft violet sitting alongside touches of mint, vanilla and melted marshmallow.  Quite reminiscent of Amano’s Montanya overall. There are also some spicy back-notes and just a faint hint of something slightly meaty which may indicate some problems with post-harvest processing.  It is incredibly subtle however and fails to detract with any significance from what is a beautiful and understated nose.

On the palette the comparisons with the Montanya are never far away. Defined stone fruit notes in the form of apricot, then hints of cherry, tangerine and a touch of fresh cream. Some of Amano’s typical floral tones arrive among the fruit, jasmine and a little rose perhaps.  In the mid palette the spices hinted at in the nose; clove and a light touch of cardamom begin to draw in and bring with them a very firm and, when set against such a soft profile, intrusively tannic grip. Heading towards the finish things are very woody indeed, all on cedar, pencil shavings and green tea with little of the fruity/floral complexities on show earlier in the melt.

The mouth-feel is very fine and as such, in line with Amano’s other recent releases; smooth and of medium speed but just a touch grainer than the likes of Cluizel or Bonnat.

An interesting bar that displays a level of complexity and a delicacy of touch that can now be considered characteristic of Amano. There are certainly some beautiful notes on show here but the intrusive tannins and woody, drying finish prevent the Cuyagua from reaching the heights of Amano’s broadly similar and well regarded Montanya. Well worth trying however and I wouldn’t be surprised if future batches surpass this one.

About the Author

Stuart Robson
Stuart Robson is a passionate foodie born in Scotland and based in Hertfordshire whose main expertise lies in the world of whisky and chocolate. He first began tasting fine chocolate in 2005 with Valrhona Manjari and has since developed a particular interest in single origin bars and a desire to highlight skilled cacao farmers and artisan producers all over the world. Stuart previously trained in Paris while working for a fine chocolatier, and has since become a reviewer for Seventypercent. He is still involved in freelance consultation for small companies working with bean-to-bar chocolate producers and chocolatiers.



The Chocolate Tree – Madagascar Raw 70%

The Chocolate Tree ventures boldly into territory formerly almost the exclusive domain of Pacari with a raw chocolate that one has reason to believe may be classified as “fine”. It’s even more refreshing to se...
by Alex Rast

Askinosie Del Tambo Ecuador 70pc & nibs enrobed Cru Sauvage Bolivia Felchlin

Directly Traded collection from Geert Vercruysse

Belgian chocolatier Geert Vercruysse creates a unique collection of ganaches using directly traded chocolate, just in time for the birth of new industry organisation, Direct Cacao.
by Martin Christy


The Chocolate Tree – Ecuador 82%

Scotland joins the club of bean-to-bar countries with this (and other) chocolates from interesting micro-producer The Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh. This is a new experiment for a company previously involved in confectionery and ...
by Alex Rast



Friis-Holm – Chuno Double Turned

The other half of the Chuno pair from Friis-Holm, which plays the very interesting game of asking by way of practical experimentation what differences in fermentation might do. Like the Triple Turned, this explores an entirely ...
by Alex Rast

Seventy% supports the International Chocolate Awards

Red Star Chocolate – Ocumare 72%

After a long hiatus, during which Red Star was apparently tinkering with their process, Duffy returns with a revised Ocumare dark. A well-known but highly-reputed origin is an obvious place to start after process changes, and t...
by Alex Rast



Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest reviews

  1. The Chocolate Tree – Madagascar Raw 70% Alex Rast, 15 Jun 2013
  2. The Chocolate Tree – Ecuador 82% Alex Rast, 14 Dec 2012
  3. Friis-Holm – Chuno Double Turned Alex Rast, 3 Dec 2012
  4. Friis-Holm – Chuno Triple Turned Alex Rast, 18 Nov 2012
  5. Chapon – Chuao Alex Rast, 18 Nov 2012

@Seventypercent Twitter feed

Search site