For an introduction to Amano, see this earlier chocolate review on Amano’s single-origin Bali chocolate, Jembrana.
WHAT: Amano Cuyagua Single-origin Dark Chocolate. 70% Cacao. 56g. Ingredients: Cacao beans, pure cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole vanilla beans. Kosher Dairy. Where to buy Amano Cuyagua Dark Chocolate.
WHEN: Jan 8, 2011
OVERALL RATING: 92.
AROMA: Honey, yogurt, herbals, ham, vanilla.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: cloves, licorice, butter.
MIDDLE TASTE: Cantaloupe, cloves, blueberry, raspberries (elusive), grapes, cacao fruit, marshmallow.
FINISH: Coffee, watermelon, caramel, banana, nutmeg, plantain, light cedar at very end. This dark chocolate continues to evolve and show a different facet with each bite. I could go on and on with more flavors, but I’ve finished half the bar and that’s about my quota.
TEXTURE: I’ve decided to coin a new term: Amano Smooth. There is a particular smoothness to this bar with no discernable particles – the chocolate just melts away as you chase every bit of flavor slowly from your mouth.
LAST BITE – Cuyagua can be summed up as dark, mysterious and elusive. It’s also a late bloomer of sorts – starting off more closed in the initial taste then evolving into complexity that’s worth waiting for. Each piece seemed to produce new flavors not experienced in the first. The raspberry notes I found on the first bite disappeared until much later when I had given my pallet a rest and cleanse with a lot of soda water. The of depth of flavors I found with each bite was really amazing. If you try this, experiment with how long you wait between tastes (if you can stand it) and see if you can’t recapture some of the earlier flavors or if it just evolves into something new. Have fun, but don’t be surprised if half the bar is gone before you have a grip on the flavors of this elusive chocolate.
Disclosure: A distributor was kind enough to send me this bar without knowing what I would do with it. I’m happy to provide my objective and unbiased review using the same methods that I’ve applied to the previous reviews on Koko Buzz.