Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pralus Chuao Dark Chocolate

The Dark Chocolate Blog reviews yet another bar made from the legendary Chuao cacao bean. Here is Pralus's interpretation:

Manufacturer: Pralus
Cocoa Content: 75%
Location: Venezuela
Rating: A+

Today we turn to Pralus for their interpretation of the legendary Chuao bean. Right from the beginning it is clear that this is something special as the Chuao bar is packaged in a mini-box as opposed to the usual paper and foil packaging. The bar is brown with plenty of brick-red highlights. The nose detects rich, earthy chocolate with a touch of mint.

On the palate, the classic Pralus roast notes are unmistakeable. There is a lively acidity here with lemon notes. Earthiness is pronounced, in particular a big tobacco note. There is a bite of bitter espresso that fades into waves of alternating acidity and earthiness. Behind all the layers there is a rich chocolate background. Also here are some smoke and wood (mesquite in particular). Chewing the Pralus Chuao brings forward rich chocolate, oak, walnuts and lemon zest. The melt is smooth and creamy, with some astringency at the end. The finish is long and evolving. Wood smoke, citrus and smoky espresso start out, then some nuttiness starts to peek through, and oaky tannins start to show up after a long fade.

Pralus has taken an exceptional bean and produced an equally exceptional chocolate with their interpretation of the Chuao. The end result is amazingly complex, yet the rich chocolate flavor never gets lost. This isn't as heavily roasted as some of their other offerings, but the flavor is unmistakably Pralus. The Pralus roast style is a perfect match for the earthiness in this chocolate, but the fruit notes are still able to shine through. This chocolate is about as good as it gets.

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