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Comment by ChocoFiles on March 2, 2013 at 6:42pm

Oh, I have not tasted the Balao yet, but I've heard great things about it.  I'm saving for after I get through some other bars first.  I recently reviewed the new Piura bar, though, and it was flawless.  I rated it as a 10, equal with my All time Top Favorite.  It may be my favorite bar of 2013.  Looking forward to seeing how the Balao compares.  Really hard to conceive that it could be better than Piura but if it is even equal I will be ecstatic.

Comment by ChocoFiles on March 2, 2013 at 6:39pm

Hi Vera,

Short answer: Vicente Norero of Camino Verde in Balao, Ecuador,

Longer answer, from Rogue's website: “Vicente Norero of Camino Verde in Balao, Ecuador, is obsessive about quality. He has painstakingly renovated 500 hectares of traditional Ecuadorian varieties of cacao on his farm and in the process is raising the bar for Ecuadorian beans. He carefully controls fermentation and drying following the latest science and then tastes liquor to determine profile. Vicente even goes so far as to sort cacao pods by phenotype(shape) and process them differently! For the Balao bar, we worked with Vicente to process two special lots. We blended two phenotype-optimized fermentations to create the world's first single-farm blend. One fermentation is more floral, green, and herbal and the other more spicy, woody, and fruity. The combination produces a remarkable chocolate that highlights Vicente’s passion."


Comment by Vera Hofman on March 2, 2013 at 4:56pm

Hi Lowe, did you taste the Balao already? Where do the beans come from?   

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