Fruition, based in upstate New York, makes a small but lovely range of single-origin dark bars as well as interesting inclusion bars like brown butter and Hudson Bourbon, plus snacks like chocolate covered nuts and dried fruit. Fruition recently had several winners at the 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards.
Wild Bolivia – Limited Release – 74%
Aroma: Wonderful inviting aroma - buttery fudge, walnut, saw dust, figs and port wine, leather
Flavor: Subdued wood/tannin flavors – cedar, walnut skin. A very rich creaminess, like butter and fresh walnuts. A soft tangy flavor, dried blueberries and sour cherries, soft lemon rind flavor, a soft yogurt tang. Creamy sweetness - honey/apple juice concentrate, sweet creamy fruit, like cherimoya, vanilla.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Lovely flavors that are gentle but complex and a perfect interplay between sweetness, richness, and woody and tangy flavors. Get it before it runs out! If you like this bar, you might also like the Palos Blancos Bolivia bar from Solstice.
Batch info: Batch #7, Enjoy by August 2020
Madagascar Sambirano 74%
Aroma: leather, raisin, tangy, old dry wood, beef jerky, dried cherry/cranberry
Flavor: Starts out sweet and fruity, like fruity candy. Intense tanginess blooms in the middle, with notes of tart cherries, cranberry juice, orange marmalade. It then softens to wood and vanilla at the end, kind of like barrel-aged spirits, with slight walnut-skin dryness. There are pleasant rich notes of macadamia and heavy cream as well. Virtually no bitterness and lots of natural sweetness.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Another stunning bar from Fruition that starts with top quality beans and expertly develops them to the fullest potential, exploring the fruit-forward flavors typical of Madagascar without losing any of the depth of wood and nuts. Get this bar and everything else they make.
Batch info: Batch no. 4; Enjoy by December 2021
Peru Marañón Dark Milk 68%
Aroma: caramel, slightly astringent earthy aroma
Flavor: Caramelly, raisin, some astringence - like walnut skin/pecans. The milk is almost not apparent. A slight greenness like barely ripe banana – slightly starchy. Super smooth texture.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. Overall, nothing bad, but we found that this bar ended up dominated by the slight dryness of the cacao. We also felt that the milk element was too mild for it to be satisfying as a dark milk chocolate – almost not noticeable. While I love Fruition generally, I would suggest one of their other dark milk bars instead - the Spring Salted Dark Milk and the Hudson Bourbon Dark Milk are both excellent!
Batch info: Batch no. 9; Best by October 2021
Marañón Canyon – Peru
Aroma: fried sweet plantains, floral, molasses, caramel, butterscotch, cinnamon
Flavor: Complex and rich with a wonderfully fudgy texture. Starts with buttery caramel flavors - burnt caramel, browned butter, caramelly cooked bananas, then some astringent notes - walnut, walnut-skin, tannins, wood. The astringency is definitely present but not overwhelming. Some fruity tanginess near finish - banana, orange rind. Rich chocolate flavor - brownie. Also dark toast, something fresh and grassy, almost like cilantro, earthy, very faint floral.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Many different flavors to tease out and nice development. Some similarities to Ritual Soconusco, but Soconusco is more tanniny, earthy, and fruity and Marañón is more spicy.
Batch info: Batch #7, Enjoy by May 2020
Hispaniola Dark – 68%
Aroma: cocoa mulch, vanilla, concord grapes, roasted ground peanuts, hay, rich earthy soil, mushrooms, cinnamon
Flavor: raisin, soft molasses, walnut, very soft orange juice, plum, a little bit of a very ripe fruit flavor, apple pie, cinnamon, lime, grape, caramel, citrus rind, spice, slight vegetalness
Recommendation: Recommended. Personally I liked the Marañon and Wild Bolivia bars better, but this was nice as well. Pleasant spice and fruit flavors.
Batch info: Batch no. 24, Enjoy by December 2019
Hudson Bourbon Milk 61%
Flavor: Creamy, with rich lactic flavors, strawberry, vanilla. The bourbon flavors are very subtle but nicely complement the chocolate.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Lovely dark milk chocolate
Batch info: Batch no. 12, Enjoy by November 2021
Colombia Tumaco 85%
Aroma: astringent, toasted walnuts, peppermint, menthol
Flavor: mild and there is moderate astringency, but some pleasant notes of heavy cream, walnut, and raisin with faint notes of fruit and wood when chewed. A slightly cool menthol/pine note.
Recommendation: Recommended. The beans are clearly handled well, and it's very smooth and mellow for being 85%! I liked it, but I will say it’s not my favorite bar from Fruition. Then again, few things can compare to their stunning Marañon and Sambirano bars!
Batch info: Batch no. 3; Best by August 2021
Spring Salted Dark Milk 56%
Aroma: peach, light honey, and honeysuckle
Flavor: caramel and butterscotch are distinct but do not overshadow the more delicate flavors of toasted hazelnut, butter, jam, peach, grape, walnut, peanut butter, and burnt sugar. The texture is silky and the bar has a lovely refined balance of flavors.
Recommendation: Many dark milk bars lose the complexity of flavor we love in dark chocolate - not so in this bar. It has a wonderful milky richness while still expressing complex notes of fruit and nuts.
Dominican Republic & Peru Blend 100%
Flavor: A bold, slightly earthy flavor with a little sourness at the end. It reminds us of eating plain cacao nibs, even more so than other 100% bars.
Recommendation: Recommended. This is a satisfying bold 100% with a fabulous texture. It’s more on the bold/earthy/unrefined side flavorwise. If you like that, you’ll love this. If you’re looking for something more mellow, try the 100% bars from Pralus, Akesson’s (Madagascar criollo), or Firetree.
Batch info: Batch no. 20; Enjoy by March 2022