Friday, August 28, 2020

Nuance Chocolate - Bolivia Alto Beni 2015 70% (bar) - Aug. 27, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Nuance Chocolate
Bolivia Alto Beni 2015 (harvest) 70% cacao (bar)
Good +
Weight: .97 oz. (27.5 g.) / 1.94 oz. (55 g.) in total bar
Calories: 146 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Nuance Chocolate, online order 

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Bolivia Theme Week.

Today's Single Origin Bolivia Alto Beni 2015 (harvest) 70% (bar) was from Nuance Chocolate (Fort Collins, CO).

Maker's notes read as follows: "A rare criollo/trinitario cacao from the Plurinational State of Bolivia. An extremely creamy mouthfeel, with a complex, but subtle profile. Initial savory layers quickly evolve into fruitier notes, before finishing with hints of dry oak."

My tasting notes: This bar had a bold, complex and shifting, aroma and flavor profile, including bitter and sweet, fermented fruit, cream, faint spice/molasses and fleeting loamy earth and mineral highlights. For those who enjoy an interesting flavor profile, you might appreciate this one.

Working for these Bolivia Alto Beni cacao beans may have required extra skill. Roasting profiles and conching times and overall balance would have been key, especially with this cacao, to maintain the complexity and balance. This was not a flat, dense dark Forastero (cacao variety) boldness where one roast profile might do, but rather a shifting blend of subtle Criollo and Trinitario, that yielded a wide flavor range. And the wider the range, the more interesting opportunities (and decisions) one may have as a chocolate maker. And the more exacting one must be when making the chocolate.

Too much roasting and/or conching and subtle fruit and cream (or any more delicate green or floral notes that would have been present) would be lost. Not enough and a loamy earth and/or latex/rubber note might not be brought into mellowed balance.

The texture and finish were smooth with a mild astringency.

Ingredients:  Cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter. 

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