Pralus – Cuyagua
  • Our rating: 85.8% (1 review)
  • Company:
  • Cacao solids: 75%
  • Guide Price: €4.67
  • Description by: Alex Rast
  • Production: Produced directly from beans by maker
  • Certification:
    • None
  • Ingredients:
    • Cocoa beans
    • sugar
    • pure cocoa butter
    • non-GMO soy lecithin

Cuyagua is a small village near Chuao. The quality of its cocoa is due to the type of trees growing on the plantation, mainly Criollo, but also to the ancestral growing, fermentation, and drying methods. It is also the cocoa with the closest similarities to Chuao of all Venezuela. The unique characteristics of the terroir and the know-how of our chocolatier enabled us to develop the exceptional aromas of this cocoa. A grand cru! This chocolate is powerful but well-balanced, with crisp acidity and fruitiness with a hint of raspberry.

Pralus – Cuyagua—Chocolate Review Rating: 85.8% out of 100 based on 1 reviews.

Pralus – Cuyagua

In the third of their “prestigious vintages” series, Pralus ventures into a bean/origin not so heavily promoted as Porcelana or Chuao: Cuyagua. Indeed, only one other specific instance of this origin has appeared in the past, so in many ways this is a completely new experience. With Pralus’ make-or-break style, the real question is whether the bean is suitable. Certainly Pralus’ own information on the bar suggests so, but here is a bar nonetheless aimed at the adventurous experimentalist rather than the cautious conservative.

Reviews

Alex Rast: 8-Jul-2012

Posted: July 8, 2012 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
INFO
Best before:
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One of Pralus’ more interesting bars, a source not often seen, and which in this case seems to play to Pralus’ strengths reasonably well. Pralus’ own blurb on the box strangely rather diminishes it by too much comparison to Chuao – as if to imply this is something of an “also-ran” origin. While it will be admitted that, in comparison to the superb Chuao for which Pralus’ style is a match-fit, this bar isn’t in quite the same exhalted league, it is perfectly capable of standing on its own and it also must be said, is considerably more successful than the Porcelana.

Not unsurprisingly, the bar out of the box has the sinister dark appearance common to most of Pralus’ work. Moulding is a bit rougher than perhaps is typical, almost implying a test batch. The aroma, however, is quite refined, even if it is a bit one-sided, reminiscent of smooth woods and with hints of olive and blackberry. Definitely dark and foresty. A slight hint of cardboard does suggest minor overoasting, perhaps, but is this simply a modulation on the woodiness?

Oddly, the flavour initially provides no answers, seeming strangely non-existent until the reason becomes clear: it’s a pure, almost perfect chocolatey taste, with a marginal hint of vanilla and cream. Taking its time, the flavour ultimately morphs into coffee and brown sugar, staying with the ultra-balanced smooth profile Pralus has achieved here, although with traces of peanut that again, suggest mild overroasting. Still, this seems a small price to pay for balance this refined.

Likewise, the texture is smooth and very refined, with ultra-creaminess that seals the stamp of elegance on what is a very graceful chocolate. Although one might imagine its appeal to be to the experimenter, in truth this is a bar that will please the lover of classic chocolate, with its ideal balance. Maybe its one failing is lack of excitement, and for this reason it doesn’t reach the heights of greatness, but it is certainly a very worthy bar and one that dignifies the Cuyagua origin.

1 Comment

  1. Kevin July 8, 2012

    Pralus released Cuyagua years ago as “Venezuela”

    There has been more than one other Cuyagua released by other chocolate makers

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