Updated: Dec 4, 2020
NANO_LOT 70% DARK CHOCOLATE
DOMANTAS UZPALIS, CHOCOLATIER
Ingredients: cacao, organic sugar, organic cocoa butter
Flavor Profile: a unique blend of weird flavors and aromas: barbeque-like, creamy, hoppy, fruity. Barbeque chocolate anyone? Slightly bitter and with some astringency. Long aftertaste, up to 6-7 minutes.
Have you ever tried Salvadorian cacao dark chocolate with a slight aftertaste of barbecue sauce? Neither had I until recently. I offer a unique opportunity to explore rare cacao at its best with this new Nano Lot release. With seeds from trees that date back to the 1870s, Eduardo Zacapa, a Salvadorian producer, planted his first cacao trees about nine years ago at Finca Concepción in Usulután . Moreover, his cacao has been recognized as one of the 50 best cacaos in the world in the Cocoa of Excellence awards.
Finca Concepción farm cultivates five hectares of cacao, with approximate productivity of two tons per hectare. The cacao trees of Concepción are acclimatized to their unique place of origin, Usulután, which is 1100 meters above sea level. This is an "atypical plantation", as typically cacaos grow at altitudes of 800 meters and lower. Concepción `s cacaos are acclimated to this ultra-height, which results in special flavors and aromas.
The trees in Eduardo Zacapa`s farm date back to the 1870s. The trees are ancient cacaos, genetically 70% Criollo and 30% Forastero. Zacapa explains that the cacaos on his farm could have been naturally mixed with a small amount of seed from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, possibly brought by the Spaniards.
The cacao beans of this bar contain 2% white beans and the rest is purple or lilac in color. This special batch is fermented as a single lot in horizontal boxes and sun-dried for 20 days.
Good snap. Creamy and warm mouth feel.
I have already tried once this bar and, like the first time, I did not detect a barbeque flavor but a very sweet palate with a contrasting bitter hoppy-like background as strong dark beer (imperial stout).
There are tons of delicates notes like honey, mandarin, figs, prunes, dates, gooseberry, anise, licorice, pistachios, Mandorle di Avola milk fresh undertone, Ruby Port Wine (chocolate and berry flavors), cloves, rum.
The astringency is not relevant and all the flavors I just described are very mild and palatable providing a tasting experience with a decidedly personal style composed of purity and complexity. I am very much moved by the gentleness of this bar and I recommend to enjoy every bite of it slowly!
This is an occasion that can be fully known only by tasting it. The creation is not limited to the exhibition, but it can be relished at the tasting points scattered around the palate, that introduce you to a different dimension of the senses in which it is possible to recognize the impetuous quality expressed by the maker, regardless of the "Barbeque Flavors" expectations!