The four *new* old favorites from Venezuela are also here. Sur del Lago, Cuyagua, Guaniamo and Canoabo.
Sur del Lago 2016 - It is a complex, well-rounded cocoa that can make a luscious chocolate bursting with flavor accented by bold red berry fruit, dry cashew, toffee, malt, caramel and most important, chocolate.
Cuyagua 2016 This is what Criollo is all about and what everyone claims to have (but rarely do). It is fruity, delicate, with walnut and plum skin. The aroma is plum and vanilla, with both coming through in the taste along with a nice back drop of current, vanilla and cream.
Guaniamo 2016 This is a wild harvest Forastero and the most elegant I've ever tasted. Actually, very atypical for a Forastero. That's what natural selection can get you. There is rose and gardenia in the nose. The flavor is distinctly chocolate with undercurrents of loam and soft leather. It is rather low in bitterness but has a nice balancing astringency, but not overpowering. There is distinct acidty, but soft like a malic acid grape nip. The lasting impression is succulent.
Canoabo 2016. What it is is a study in balance and elegance. Like a lot of the beans in this region, there is cream and soft red fruits. Red currant comes to mind. There slight tang of mineral molasses for balance. A touch of roasted brazil rounds out the flavor.