Patric – Rio Caribe Superior

While Patric has several Madagascars, this Rio Caribe is, so far, unique, giving it additional appeal. Arguably Rio Caribe is a more prestigious bean, or to be precise is an identified bean type, although many Rio Caribe efforts end up rather imbalanced. It seems the bean is difficult to “tame”, raising the stakes for a ..

Theo Chocolate – Dominican Republic 84%

The Dominican Republic is particularly well-known for producing organic chocolate, often with spectacular results, (e.g. Domori’s old Chacao, or more recently Sainsbury’s Organic 70%), but with the occasional spectacular failure (e.g. Dagoba Conacado). It’s a bit of mystery, then, why Theo hasn’t brought out a Dominican earlier, this being one of the most obvious possible ..

Domori – Javagrey

Domori comes up with a new, “pure” milk chocolate suggesting a more serious approach to milk chocolate than in the past for them. To some extent obviously aimed to compete with Cluizel’s milk chocolates, and from a cocoa source that Cluizel made famous in the past. However, if past experience is any guide, there is ..

Patric – Madagascar 67%

Patric – Madagascar 67%

Alan Patric McClure is another key player in the vibrant chocolate movement currently building in the United States and has been since 2006. There are three Madagascan offerings in his range displaying the differences inherent to relatively small changes in cacao percentage. You could be forgiven for thinking that this 67%, being the lowest of ..

Valrhona – Gran Couva 2010

Valrhona – Gran Couva 2010

The original plantation cacao bar, from a source first suggested to Valrhona by Robert Linxe of La Maison du Chocolat. Also the first bar to really be marketed by its year of production or ‘vintage’. (Though laying down for 100 years is not likely to improve the chocolate!) First produced in 2002 (if memory serves ..

Pralus – Tobago Estate Chocolate W. I.

Pralus’ second experiment with a single-plantation chocolate (the first being the Claudio Corallo bar, which might not be called a “pure” or at least not a “classic” chocolate bar), at least if one inteprets the Chuao as a regional origin, if in a very local “region”. Interestingly, Pralus goes for a Trinitario bean in what ..

Divine Chocolate – 85%

One of the most visible Fair Trade companies in the UK comes out with an ultra-percentage chocolate. Whether this is a wise thing to do with a source such as Ghana, which typically does not fare well at high percentages, is questionable. However, given Divine’s propensity to use high cocoa butter percentages, it might work. ..

Madécasse – 80% Cocoa

Here is another business model along “fair trade” lines, but with the additional benefit of processing locally as well as sourcing responsibly. As always, there are concerns over production quality: can a country with little infrastructure to support chocolate-production and presumably minimal expertise, produce a quality chocolate, no matter how elite the origin? This remains ..

Willie’s Delectable Cacao – Indonesian 69

Perhaps the most exotic of Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s eating bar range, and furthest from his original Venezuelan roots. ‘Indonesian 69’ turns out to be one of the most successful of his bars though, providing interest and an authentic representation of the cacao source. We are not given too much detail about the bean source. Historically, Indonesia ..

Mast Brothers – Grand Cru 81%

Mast Brothers – Grand Cru 81%

A chance to see how the Mast Brothers approach beans that clearly display strong Criollo characteristics, particularly interesting given that they have chosen a much higher percentage than is more often applied with such stock. What with the comparatively delicate nature of the Mast treatment, the strength they have chosen and the use of minimal ..

Mast Brothers – Madagascar 72%

Mast Brothers – Madagascar 72%

Mast Brothers are creating a good deal of excitement in the chocolate world, with their hands-on processing, obvious care and attention to detail.  Passion is an overused word in the world of fine food but one taste of this highly characteristic Madagascan offering is enough to leave no doubt as to the passion of this producer

Rogue Chocolatier – Sambirano 70%

Another of the new wave of American chocolate manufacturers. Just how many producers the available supply can support is, of course, up for question, but it’s nice to see more people giving it a go. Rogue here starts with a familiar origin, having a very broad spectrum of interpretations, so what they might have to ..