Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Republica Del Cacao Los Rios 75% Dark Chocolate

Today, over at The Dark Chocolate Blog we take our first taste of Republica Del Cacao with their Los Rios 75% Dark Chocolate. How did it fare, and how does it compare with the stellar Pacari Los Rios? Read on to find out:

Manufacturer: Republica Del Cacao
Cocoa Content: 75%
Location: Ecuador
Manufacturer Website
Rating: B

We're following up on our recent tasting of the excellent Pacari Los Rios with another take on these beans. Today's tasting is from Ecuadorian bean-to-bar chocolate maker Republica Del Cacao. Their take on the Los Rios chocolate is a 75% bar that is deep brown in color, bordering on ebony, with ruby and purple highlights. The nose has a deep, powerful chocolate aroma, with highlights of marshmallow and cinnamon.

The Republica Del Cacao Los Rios hits the palate with a distinct note of tobacco/leather. Herbal and sweet spice notes abound with cinnamon, mint and some grassiness. There is a bite of black coffee bitterness here. Banana, hazelnut and cream are here as well. Chewing the Los Rios brings forward notes of mint, honey, toffee and some cinnamon/nutmeg. The melt is perfectly smooth with a slight cooling sensation. On the finish, some chocolate finally sets in along with spearmint as a strong highlight.

I am quite torn over the Republica Del Cacao Los Rios. On one hand, the construction of this bar is absolutely flawless. The bar is divided into four large rectangles with pristine embossing and a lustrous shine. The nose has a wonderful chocolate note that is rich and fudgy like brownie batter. But once the chocolate hit my palate I found myself searching for this powerful chocolate note that the nose alluded to. It takes seemingly forever for any of the chocolate flavor to show up. Overall, the flavor is quite complex, interesting and bold with dominant notes of mint and tobacco/leather highlighted by sweet spice and herbs, but the chocolate flavor is conspicuously missing until the tail end. Still, the attention to detail is promising and I'm looking forward to trying some of Republica Del Cacao's other chocolates quite soon.

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