Sprüngli – Grand Cru Criollo de Maracaibo 65%

Felchlin Venezuelan Maracaibo sold under the Sprüngli brand. A straight moulding of the couverture, packed elegantly in two gold wrapped bars, laid in a fold out box. Very elegantly presented and nice to have two 50 gram bars in one box

Theo Chocolate – Costa Rica 91%

After encountering extreme batch variability difficulties with their earlier Venezuela 91%, with some bars coming out fantastic and others near-inedible, Theo make another stab with the Costa Rica. The switch to the new origin indicates perhaps that the Venezuelan source they had was just too intractable, or possibly sourcing unreliability. Whatever the cause, an additional ..

Patric – Madagascar 75%

Patric is another of the new wave of American chocolate manufacturers emerging in large numbers. While some are very experimental indeed, Patric appears to know what they’re doing and produce quite fine chocolate. The Madagascar will be an origin that surprises no one, but where again, it is interesting to see the effects of another ..

Domori – Rio Caribe

Domori produce a masterful interpretation of a highly distinctive Venezuelan variety. This is perhaps the most successful bar in a single origins series of exceptional quality, where it seems each bar is highly indicative of the beans used

Valrhona – Ampamakia 2010

Valrhona – Ampamakia 2010

The 2009 Ampamankia could have been seen as something of a hard act to follow, and while little improvement has been made in 2010, Valrhona has succeeded in losing very little of the charming character that made last year’s bar so enjoyable. Arguably though, this doesn’t quite have the full magic of the previous years ..

Red Star Chocolate – Star of Peru

Another from-liquor chocolate from Red Star to add breadth to the range. Peru is by now becoming a familiar origin, particularly in the organic sector. Nonetheless, quality from other companies in past has been decidedly mixed; is this the result of excessive focus on the organic part, not enough on the chocolate part? Hopefully Red ..

Red Star Chocolate – Star of Panama

Red Star broadens their offerings with chocolate made from liquor, such as this bar. Obviously, some process control and ultimate style is going to be lost, but the merits of a wider selection both in origin and flavour are worth the tradeoff. L’Artisan du Chocolat has already proven it’s possible to make superb chocolate from ..

Zotter – Peru 100%

Zotter goes (almost) all the way with a 100% – at least if one dismisses the addition of a little salt. Thus the claim on the package “without added ingredients” is taking some liberties with terminology – is salt, then, not an ingredient? Such pedantic quibbles aside, however, obviously Zotter makes no pretence about who ..

Zotter – Peru 90%

Zotter announces that they mean business, with this bar as part of a 2-bar set (with companion 100%) at the top of the range. Such high percentages demand a lot from bean and processor, so clearly Zotter is making some claims about their capabilities as well as their sources. It would seem this is the ..

Red Star Chocolate – Star of Peru

Red Star confirms their intention to be a full-range chocolate manufacturer with a milk chocolate, to add to a fine collection of dark chocolates. Made from liquor at this point (hence the somewhat inaccurate “made from couverture designation – about as close as the categorisations get at this point), it might not be quite fully ..

Friis Holm – Johe

The third in the series of ultra-exclusive limited-edition bars from Friis-Holm (benefitting from the distribution efforts and publicity of Chocolate and Love, this is the “plebeian” member of the family, being simply noted as of generic Nicaraguan origin. Nonetheless, this in itself is no mean feat, and sets the tone for the new wave of ..

Red Star Chocolate – Corazon del Ecuador 72%

The bar that must presumably be the “standard” in the Red Star lineup, with a fairly normal percentage and available generally – the more accessible version of the otherwise-identical-source 83%. This one should tick all boxes for typical chocolate connoisseurs, combining a familar origin with a familiar percentage, and thus falling into the range of ..

Friis Holm – Nicaliso

The second in a series of ultra-exclusive chocolates (only 250 of each one, according to the Chocolate and Love order page for the bar) from tiny Danish producer Friis Holm. Even more rarefied, indeed, than the Chuno, this one from a single farm. These bars are the ultimate in “boutique” chocolate. At £12.40 per bar, ..

Red Star Chocolate – Corazon del Ecuador 83%

The strongest of the new bars from Red Star: a full-force attempt at an “ultra-bittersweet”. This one has a familiar origin, which will add reassurance, but also will place fairly strong expectations about how it “should” taste. One suspects, however, that the high percentage will attract those not easily intimidated, so this is a bar ..

Hotel Chocolat – Rabot Estate Dash of Milk 70%

Verturing boldly into territory only Slitti has dared previously to tread, Hotel Chocolat makes an attempt to create an ultimate dark milk chocolate by marrying their own plantation bean to an ultra-percentage milk chocolate formulation. Ironically, this makes the milk chocolate version stronger than the dark (at 65%)! Does this suggest that the Rabot Estate ..