Malagasy – Mora Mora 2006

A glorious, beautiful bar, and a vast improvement over last year’s vintage. If Sambirano 2006 fell from grace Mora Mora 2006 more than makes up for it with a bar that is at once subtle and distinctive. With an interesting palette of fruity flavours, it might not be quite so characteristic of Madagascar as last ..

Pralus – Fortissima

A mild chocolate that for its percentage seems almost too mild, especially when compared to the 75% varietals. Yet Fortissima is a lovely blend with great balance and a flavor that captures the Pralus style in an accessible fashion

Pralus – Bresil

Very nice Forastero chocolate shows clearly the benefits of dark roasting for this varietal. Pralus has done a commendable job of revealing a pleasant basic chocolate while minimising bitterness and even flatness. Don’t expect any revelatory flavour complexities here, but as a simple eating chocolate this is most acceptable

L’artisan du Chocolat – Madong

Ever wondered what it might be like to be in the Old West and so hungry you were forced to eat your saddle? Now’s your chance to find out! Never has any chocolate – forget that, any *food*, period, tasted so much like leather. Unmistakable at any range. In spite of its one-sidedness, however, it’s ..

Fauchon – Chocolat Noir Amer

Fauchon’s offering to sate fans of dark chocolate merely leaves palates craving something darker and a little less sweet. Perhaps, though, this is their intention — to keep their product line in perspective and appeal mainly to a different crowd

Michel Cluizel – Grand Lait 45%

Now available in bar format, Grand Lait 45% can now be accessed by everyone without confectionery intents. The bar is strong in chocolate flavor, has great balance, and lacks a sweetness many milk bars possess. It’s the second one to try, next to Mangaro Lait, but certainly it’s not one to be missed

Vivani – Feine Bitter 85% Cacao

A relative rarity – an 85% class organic bar, with at least aspirations to quality. Unfortunately Vivani fall into the same trap as a lot of non-organic quality manufacturers and manage to render a bar which ends up flat and somewhat uninteresting. What is it about 85% chocolates that give chocolate manufacturers so much trouble? ..

Scharffen Berger – Danse Le Cacao

Created to honour Trinidad and Tobago for their qualification for the World Cup, this chocolate bar unfortunately does a disservice to the country. Poor stylistic choices result in a bar that fails to bring out the distinctive qualities of the superb, complex Trinitario bean and created a very muddled flavour. Scharffen Berger has gone out ..

Malagasy – Sambirano 2006

A bitter disappointment after last year’s spectacular success. Variations in harvest and bean quality are acceptable and excusable, but here Malagasy has done the inexcusable – grossly overroasted so as to strip the bean of any character. One of the most precipitous drops in year-to-year performance possible, and a sign that this is still an ..

Lindt & Spr√ľngli – Excellence 85% (UK Version)

Utilizing the same beans as its US counterpart, the UK version decides to diverge significantly into questionable territory. Chocolaty and powerful but bitter and dry as well, the negative components outweigh the positive and create an imbalanced chocolate that’s quite literally hard to swallow

Scharffen Berger – Kumasi Sambirano

A questionable blend from Scharrfen Berger, this is unarguably one of their worst offerings to date. Does this reflect their takeover by Hershey’s? Certainly, one can hope to expect better limited edition bars from a company usually on par with such endeavors

Slitti – Gran Cacao 82%

A perfect example of how not to present a chocolate at this range. Mild, bitter, and musty are all adequate descriptions, conveying exactly what Slitti has delivered and what all other chocolatiers should avoid. Horribly imbalanced as well, this is a chocolate that needs to go back to the drawing board

Michel Cluizel – 1er Cru de Plantation Maralumi Lait

Building off the success of Mangaro Lait, Cluizel offers another single plantation milk chocolate, but this time he sources from Papua New Guinea and the Maralumi plantation. Although a lighter milk chocolate, the flavor is what sets Maralumi Lait apart and ultimately keeps the standard set high for the competition

Dagoba – Milagros

Although Dagoba has succeeded in introducing organic single origin chocolate, they have also created a very unmemorable bar. Milagros’ only trendsetting merit is based on its novelty rather than flavor innovation, which is evidenced by a monotone profile and a blinding homogeneity that overwhelms in small doses. Yet on the other hand, this may appeal ..

Lindt & Spr√ľngli – Baking 70%

Lindt has created a marvelously well-balanced “baking” chocolate that certainly holds its own as an eating chocolate. It’s surprisingly complex and warm overall with a medium-bodied feel that’s easy on the palate