Chocolaty, nutty, earthy, red berries
Pilsner Malt, Pearled Barley Koji, Mayan Red Cacao Husks, Coffee Chaff
Maturation: Ex-Cherry Wine Cask.
Empirical x Xoco celebrates a shared ethos, conscious sourcing and traceability practices, with a boundless dedication to craft and flavor.
Xoco Gourmet has been redefining the way chocolate is and should be made. They designed new processes of low roasting, as well as tailored protocols of fermentation and drying of the beans, to unlock the layered and pure flavors only found in single-variety cacao.
As it happens, cacao husks are often discarded, due to the high roasting temperatures used by many producers, and are mostly used as fodder for pigs. But Xoco Gourmet’s Mayan Red cacao husks are beyond compare.
The spirit highlights the delicate dark chocolate, pleasantly bitter and nutty notes of Xoco Gourmet’s Mayan Red cacao husks. The cacao husks are first macerated in our barley koji-based spirit, imparting soft floral notes. A portion of the husk spirit is rested in our ex-cherry wine cask to play up the distinctively fruity, red berry-forward aromas of Mayan Red. A coffee chaff distillate completes the final blend with lush, round, and lightly toasted tones.
The spirit comes with Xoco’s delicious 70% Mayan Red Chocolate. To be enjoyed together or separately.
About Xoco Gourmet:
Since 2007, Xoco Gourmet has been redefining the way chocolate is and should be made. With flavor as their North Star, they instantly knew that they needed to re-examine every aspect of the process to unlock and highlight the pure flavors of the cacao fruit with respect to the raw product. “To work with flavors, we realized that we had to start the journey as cacao growers. We planted for variety which permits optimizing flavor development in fermentation and roasting. We select, graft, and grow the cacao on our own plantations and with partner farmers, with a strong focus on traceability”. Shifting the sourcing practices and processes to develop their desired flavor profile takes time, 14 years to be precise, until they released their first chocolate made of the single variety cacao called Mayan Red.
Xoco Gourmet owns and operates their own farms in Central America (Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica), working hand-in-hand with over 200 partner farmers and remunerating their work fairly.
About Mayan Red:
Mayan Red is the name given to Xoco Gourmet’s first signature cacao variety. The deeply red cacao pods come from rare mother trees they identified deep in the jungle of Honduras, located near 3,000-year-old Mayan settlements. The flavor of the cacao itself is full-bodied and intense with notes of red berries and mature fruits, juicy acidity, and hints of plums and heather honey. The aftertaste is long and complex.