Chocolate has been a family business since Marc Cluizel began apprenticing at a pastry shop in Lyon in the 1920's. Now in its third-generation, Cluizel makes dozens of single-origin and inclusion bars, truffles, and novelties in addition to a large wholesale range.
Plantation Vila Gracinda – São Tomé
Aroma: strong slightly turned flower aroma, a little hammy/smoked meat, dried fruit, complex, mint
Flavor: Very sweet. Smoked meat/a bit hammy, toasted almond, peanut butter, fig jam, nibs, tannins/astringency, dried blueberries, natural vanilla comes through, mint, a little astringent. I don’t love it.
Recommendation: Would not recommend. Similar to the Mokaya single origin bar, it is overly sweet with off flavors characteristic of poorly fermented beans.
Batch info: Expiration date: December 22, 2018
Plantation Mokaya - Mexico
Aroma: something overly sweet and a little hammy – over fermented beans?, intense fermented flavors like fermented fruit. Also chocolate, pepper, coffee.
Flavor: Dark earthy flavors with notes that seem a little off - overripe oranges and banana. Also grape, caramel. Indistinct chocolate flavors. Some moldy flavors at the end.
Recommendation: Not recommended. It’s too sweet, with over-fermented and moldy flavors. I’ve heard people rave about Michel Cluizel and this bar won awards at the 2018 International Chocolate Awards, so maybe it’s an off batch with some fermentation issues. However, I wasn’t particularly impressed with Cluizel’s São Tomé bar either, so for now I’m not recommending it.
Batch info: Expiration date: March 27, 2020