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 ..

Amano – Madagascar

Amano – Madagascar

The second batch of Amano’s Madagascar takes a huge leap on from the earlier – but promising – batches. With this bar Amano make the move from promising upstart to fully fledged premier league bean to bar maker. Don’t be fooled by the slick presentation, this is still pretty much a two-man band when it ..

Slitti – Gran Cacao 73%

Slitti is almost there, yet he’s so far away. At 73%, the chocolate comes close to delivering a great flavor but succumbs to a few flaws that make the bar merely average. Overall, it’s not a bad chocolate but just deficient in the qualities needed to make this blend work

Galler – Chocolate Noir 60

Do you want wild? This is the chocolate for you. WIth flavours that defy expectations at every point in the process, it’s unclear whether your experience will be one of spinning in confusion or swooning in a haze of ecstasy. It’s got a lot going for it, and yet also potentially a lot to criticise. ..

Valrhona – Abinao

Unfortunately, Valrhona demonstrates either its lack of mastery or unsuitability of style with ultra-percentage chocolate once again. What one might hope would be an improvement on the lackluster Noir Extra Amer turns out, if anything, to be a diminishment, and the resultant chocolate arrives harsh and difficult. Valrhona teases some interest early in this chocolate ..