L’artisan du Chocolat – Dominican Republic

A surprisingly dark interpretation of the Dominican Republic origin – the kind of bar Pralus might have produced. Containing all the extraordinary power of the origin this is a chocolate that will certainly impress with its boldness…but could it have been better? In spite of excellent overall effect, it’s a bit muddy, a bit muddled, ..

L’artisan du Chocolat – Peru Organic and Fairtrade

L’artisan du Chocolat – Peru Organic and Fairtrade

Promising organic, although not the best of L’Artisan’s efforts. L’Artisan has recently been experimenting with chocolate made from third-party liquor – hence the type isn’t really “unknown” but rather more “other”. They retain much stylistic control over result and the bars definitely have a signature of their own. Here L’Artisan is spot-on true to their ..

Plamil – Organic Dark Chocolate 87%

Plamil – Organic Dark Chocolate 87%

With their 60%, one felt Plamil took winning beans and washed them away in a sea of sugar. Here we see what happens when, in a fortunate development, they leave the sugar out. With clearly the same beans Plamil proves that indeed it was the sugar all along – and the bar soars with superb ..

Valrhona – Palmira 2006

Maybe just slightly less accomplished than previous Palmiras, this one retains the rather surprising, unfamiliar progression of flavours that previous vintages have offered. “Slightly”, it must be emphasised, is a critical modifier: by any reasonable standard this is excellent chocolate. But with a somewhat blander, sweeter profile one wonders if Valrhona might have done well ..

Amano – Cuyagua

With a third bar (Cuyagua follows Madagascar and Ocumare), Amano’s maverick techniques of blending stone-ground cacao and whole vanilla pods without a trace of lecithin becomes standard practice. Cuyagua is an aromatic chocolate that saturates the palate with fruit flavors but ends with earthier notes

Chocolate Society – The Dark Bar

The Chocolate Society comes up with another lovely bar, at a slightly higher percentage than the previous 67%. Minimal information about where they are sourcing from keeps this chocolate rather enigmatic. Somewhat ambiguous labelling even cloud the question of organic. Still, this is a bar that suggests perhaps ignoring such unknowns and focussing on the ..

Pralus – Brut de São Tomé

A smart partnership with Claudio Corallo results in a massive 160g bar with a heavy rustic feel, but one that has been tastefully executed. An abundance of nibs adds an unrefined counter to the finished chocolate, as well as an extremely crumbly texture that provides unmatched appeal by other nib bars

Dagoba – Pacuare

With Pacuare, Dagoba expresses a personal preference rather than the characteristics of the origin and ends up producing a chocolate that comes off as imbalanced and contradictory since there is no mediator flavor to offset the darker components of the chocolate. Still, it’s a good try and will give you a partially competent understanding of ..

Slitti – Gran Cacao 100%

If bitterness and ash were highly desired flavors, Slitti would have a winner here. Unfortunately, though, this chocolate is far from that, embodying just about everything that could possibly go wrong in a chocolate. With Gran Cacao 100%, we find out this blend needs sugar

Slitti – Gran Cacao 90%

With this bar, Slitti shows us where he truly shines. At 90%, the chocolate has no offensive irregularities and delivers a simple yet chocolaty flavor that demands no further elaboration to make it great. This is strong and commanding, similar to Super Novanta Tropicale, but less complex in flavor. Overall, Gran Cacao 90% stands tall ..

Montezuma’s – Milk Chocolate: The Dark Side

What went wrong here? Montezuma’s, normally the producer of decent chocolate even if it doesn’t set the world on fire, here experiences disaster. At this percentage, a milk chocolate could be great, and one would have high hopes that here at last might be the first really world-class organic milk chocolate, but no, it turns ..

Pralus – Le 100%

Pralus comes out with a masterpiece, perhaps his most accomplished chocolate of all, in an uncompromising percentage. Astonishing in its lack of bitterness it is also remarkable in being relatively gentle on the roasting relative to the Pralus norm. With this chocolate he competes squarely against the heavy hitters from Domori and Cluizel. It’s nice ..

Pralus – Tanzanie

Tanzanie presents a few problems to Pralus that were unfortunately treated in a manner that subdued and repressed the flavor of the beans. Here we have a chocolate that suffers from not only bitter beans but also from excessive cocoa butter. However, the underlying flavor is promising and surprisingly fruity for a Forastero. Perhaps later ..

Green & Black’s – Dark 85%

Can acquisition by a big, semi-faceless Corporate Entity actually help an organic manufacturer. In the case of G&B, recent targets of Cadbury, there might be a case to be made. 85%, while not an elite chocolate in any real sense, is such a tremendous improvement over the bitter G&B bars of yore that Cadbury must ..

Amano – Ocumare

A very different interpretation of the Ocumare bean from the more usual earthy versions. This one is light and fruity, and it makes for a refreshing change. Impeccable execution all round – but might this bar be slightly soulless? It seems a bit typical. Nonetheless a fine effort from a new arrival on the chocolate ..