Askinosie makes a range of single-origin bars with direct trade cocoa and shares the profits with farmers. They also make drinking chocolate, baking chocolate, cocoa powder, inclusion bars, and fun treats like s'mores bark and chocolate covered malt balls. The bars I have tried so far have a distinct bold, rustic style and earthy flavor.
Aroma: Cocoa powder, mineral soil, damp soil
Flavor: Mineral soil and earthy flavors dominate, including peanuts/peanut skins, fermented grains, graham cracker, a slight tanginess and a little bit of fruitiness – they say strawberry, which seems right. Also some pleasant mellow flavors; cocoa powder and chocolate pudding.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. I found this bar unusual in its earthy/mineral/grassy flavors. I think there are better Tanzania bars available, especially Dandelion, Monsoon, and LetterPress. However, if you have had other Askinosie bars and enjoyed them, you will probably like this one.
Batch info: Batch no. 080720
Ecuador San Jose del Tambo 70%
Aroma: Fruity and floral - grapes, hyacinth, violet, prune, plus rich earthy cocoa and a papery aroma
Flavor: A distinct Nacional-type combination of a deep, slightly bitter roasted cocoa flavor and earthy flavors (dry leaves) with high delicate floral/fruit notes – violet, grape, pineapple, hyacinth. Rustic, roasted cocoa flavors dominates, complemented by the softer fruity notes. Also peanuts, prunes, red wine, port or some sweet spirit, dry soil, some starchy flavors like cocoa powder and biscuits.
Recommendation: Recommended. The flavors are less refined, so if you like this style of chocolate you will enjoy this bar. However, the earth flavors dominate and it’s harder to taste the fruity and floral flavors, so if you like those aspects of Ecuadorian chocolate I would try a different brand.
Batch info: Enjoy by February 1, 2020
Ecuador Zamora Amazonia 72%
Aroma: Sweet and floral plus savory earthy notes, grape, raisin, lemon, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, molasses
Flavor: A moment of vanilla and chocolate pudding creaminess, then rustic, earthy, and roasted flavors - dark toast, pecans, peanuts, coffee, walnut/oak leaf tannins, mushrooms, like camembert, soil/muddy overtones. Some sourness near the end, like slightly underripe red fruit.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. Askinosie has a unique style that is worth trying, and perhaps reflects the real character of these beans. However, the flavors aren’t very distinct; everything tastes a little muddy.
Batch info: Looks like date was accidentally not printed