Domori - Criollo Line
One of the best chocolate makers in the world, Domori produces a unique line of single origin and specific variety bars made with the finest Venezuelan criollo cacao. Since founding the company, Gianluca Franzoni has actively worked to conserve these rare varieties of cacao. By partnering with the Franceschi family of Hacienda San José, Franzoni has been able to conserve ten varieties of rare heirloom cacao. Read more about the Domori Criollo Project.
Puerto Mar Criollo 70%
Aroma: toasted grains, cocoa powder, fresh grass, fresh nuts, rich aroma, a little spice, orange rind
Flavor: unroasted peanuts, fresh-cut grass, hint of orange, seeds, nutty, delicate, citrusy (marmalade), cereals, hint of grassiness/seeds, toasted grains, almond. A rich criollo flavor develops when chewed. Nutty and delicate but with a little citrus marmalade, hints of raisin, fig, and almonds near the end.
Recommendation: Highly recommended.
Batch info: Lot no. L7164 02-12, Best before December 31, 2019
Puerto Fino Criollo – Hacienda San José Venezuela 70%
Aroma: Very delicate. chocolate, toasted grains, spices, caramel, Nutella
Flavor: Delicate and mild. Initial fruit flavors of soft citrus, maybe a little red fruit but mild, not like Madagascar. Fruitier than some of the other criollos - pineapple, toasted grains, very delicate nutty flavors like nut butters, cocoa powder, toasted almonds walnuts, and peanuts, orange, pecan, very mild grassy hint, very light fruity tang. Flavor lingers for a long time. Clean finish with lingering toasted nut notes.
Recommendation: Highly recommended.
Batch info: Lot no. L7139 00-8, Best before November 30, 2019
Ocumare 77 – Venezuela 70%
Aroma: rich, a bit more of the classic chocolate flavor that the other criollos, toasted grain, malt, orange, orange marmalade
Flavor: Lovely criollo flavors with a rich chocolate flavor – brownies. Delicate nutty flavors – marzipan, fruity hazelnuts, toasted grains. A slight tanginess, more than some other criollos but still soft - orange, marmalade, apricot jam, raspberries, a passion fruit tanginess. Very creamy and some floral notes as well.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. The entire criollo line is fantastic but Ocumare 77 is particularly nice.
Batch info: Lot no. L8116 0005, Best before October 31, 2020
Guasare Criollo – Venezuela 70%
Aroma: toasted grains, malt powder, cocoa powder
Flavor: Toasted grains first, honey and a complex, delicate sweetness. Nutty and delicate, a little bit more fruit and floweriness, toasted nuts and seeds, faint unroasted peanuts, dried cherries, apricots, sunflower seeds, walnut, orange, tiny grass notes, some subtle fruit flavors, almond. Less of the citrusy and grassy hints of Puerto Mar and Puerto Fino.
Recommendation: Highly recommended.
Batch info: Lot no. 7138 00-8, Best before November 11, 2019
Chuao - Venezuela 70%
Aroma: mellow, nutty, Nutella, hot cocoa, toasted grain, toast
Flavor: the kind of delicate Nutella flavor other criollos have, but with a little more acidity – bright orange or tangerine juice. Almond, cocoa powder, toasted coconut hint of green grass flavors. Some darker – still soft – toasty flavors too. Floral honey. Soft tangy finish – lemon curd emerges at the end.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Fantastic. People say that Chuao produces some of the best cacao in the world, and I believe it – especially when it ends up in Domori’s hands. This bar has lovely toasted grain and nut flavors with just a hint of tanginess to round it out. Sublime.
Batch info: Lot no. 9030 00-19, Best before July 31, 2021
Canoabo – Venezuela – 70%
Aroma: fresh, delicate vegetal/herbal aromas – soft juniper, fresh cut grass, celery, sweet hay. Toasted almonds and wheat, cocoa powder
Flavor: Mellow rounded chocolate like hot cocoa and chocolate pudding, hot fudge sauce. Very rich, like toasted hazelnut oil or Nutella. Toasted grain flavors and a slight tang (more than some of the other criollo varieties) – soft orange/lemon candy, raspberry syrup. Dates. Cocoa powder, slightly more bitter than some of the other criollos, apricot jam, peaches and cream, some soft earthiness - celery. A little bitterness lingers.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. As always, Domori’s criollos are refined, delicate, and complex, each with their own slightly different flavor profile.
Batch info: Lot no. L8113 0005, Best by October 31, 2020
Aroma: rich, chocolate, nutty and mellow
Flavor: wood, cocoa powder, at the end did start to mellow out a bit towards nuttiness rather than bitterness. A little bit of the inherent sweetness does come through, toasted grains, rose, peanut butter or nut butter richness but without a distinct peanut or almond flavor. Salted roasted almond.
Aroma: citrus, candied orange peel
Flavor: Very refined and delicate. Rich – heavy cream. Alkali cocoa powder, chocolate cake, honey, oatmeal with cream, peach, raw cashew, lightly toasted coconut, coffee grounds, fruit skin, slight earthy notes. Very full and long-lasting flavor.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Absolutely stunning, like everything from Domori’s criollo line.
Batch info: L9103 12-18; Best by October 31, 2021
Domori - Trinitario Line
Italian master chocolatier Gianluca Franzoni and his team make without doubt some of the best chocolate in the world. Complementing their sublime criollo line is a lovely selection of trinitario chocolate bars, which maintain Domori's characteristic delicate style while expressing more fruit and spice notes. Also included here is their Arriba Nacional bar, a distinct variety native to Ecuador.
Venezuela Sur del Lago 70%
Aroma: grains, malt, nuts, creamy peanut butter, molasses, leather,
Flavor: Very creamy, sweet, criollo-like, with flavors of toasted grains, cereals, cream, rich cocoa, coffee, very mild caramel, hazelnut-like subtleties, and marzipan. There is a little tang and some soft fruity/floral flavors - orange rind, dried cherries, apricot jam, honey. No bitterness. A slight hint of mushroom. Pleasant flavors linger for a long time.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Lovely delicate criollo flavors with just a hint more fruitiness.
Batch info: Lot no. L8152 0012, Best before December 31, 2020
Aroma: toasted grains, malt, very slight cinnamon spiciness, fruit punch, horchata
Flavor: fruit punch, some creamy grain notes, toasted grains, apricot jam, cereals, a little red wine sourness, some walnuts and seeds, cinnamon but faint. Reminds me of creamy fruits like cherimoya, but without fruity tartness.
Recommendation: Recommended. Similarly to the Domori Nacional bar, this bar had distinct fruit punch flavors that dominated. It is tasty and interesting though not my personal favorite. If you like really fruit chocolate, you will enjoy this one.
Batch info: Lot no. L7188 00-12, Best before January 31, 2020
Madagascar Sambirano 70%
Aroma: creamy, marzipan, nutty, apricot jam, fruit punch, malted milk balls, custard, malted grains, little punches of fruitiness.
Flavor: Good chocolate flavor – brownie. Notes of unroasted nuts and seeds, soft woody bark flavor, a very faint hint of grapefruit bitterness near the end. A subdued fruitiness and slight tang became apparent with a bigger bite and a few chews - fruit punch, cherry candy, dried cherry, hazelnuts, soft peach, apricot jam, a hint of orange marmalade. Also a cream/crème fraiche/toasted coconut/macadamia nut richness. The more I ate of it, the more a lovely richness lingered – like dairy fat or delicate rich nut oils. The texture is excellent, thick and fudgy, probably since there is no additional cocoa butter added.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Domori does a beautiful job with Trinitario beans as well as criollo, producing refined bars that highlight the delicate and subtle notes. This would be a great comparison to bolder Madagascar bars like Ritual or Valrhona Manjari.
Batch info: Lot no. L8135-0012, Best before November 30, 2020
Aroma: coffee, nutty, cocoa shells, dry soil, dry leaves, sweet aromas like sweet hay, fruity hazelnuts, and malt.
Flavor: Main flavors are lovely delicate mix of chocolate malt, hot cocoa, and toasted grains. Delicate almond butter or hazelnuts. When you let it melt, these creamy, mellow flavors predominate. As it melts/when chewed, some fruity and soft earthy flavors become more apparent: mushroom, green tea; orange rind, candied pineapple and mango, fruit punch, peach. The mix of cooked grain and fruit flavors is almost like steel cut oats with berries and cream. It ends on a clean sweet note.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. This bar has the typical ultra-smooth highly refined character that Domori does so well.
Batch info: Lot no. L78080 0500, Best before September 30, 2019
Ecuador Arriba Nacional 70%
Aroma: nutty, almond
Flavor: marzipan, fruit punch – strange!, lingering fruit
Recommendation: Recommended. This bar is unusual in its simplicity and fruit punch flavors, and definitely worth trying. Some people might really like this profile. However, I did find it a little one-sided and less interesting and complex than Ecuador bars by Dandelion, Creo, and Soma.
Batch info: Lot no. L8284 0013, Best before April 4, 2021
Colombia Teyuna 70%
Aroma: rich aroma – criollo, fruity -dried fruit, quince paste, cocoa powder, apple
Flavor: rich chocolate, toasted almond, hazelnut, marshmallow, fudge, fruit punch, apple, raisin, vanilla, a little red fruit – a hint of fresh berries, dried cherry, orange rind, slight muddy and green seed flavors. Very little bitterness, no astringency.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. You will notice some similarities to Domori’s criollo bars, but there are more fruity and earthy flavors.
Batch info: Lot no. L8136 0805, Best by November 11, 2020