Naïve

In a small town in Lithuania, Naïve founder Domantas Užpalis and his team transform beans from around the world into bars in three collections - Forager, with locally sourced inclusions, Equator, with inclusions inspired by the equatorial region, and Nano-lots, tiny batches made with excellent beans that only come in limited quantities.

Super Dark Mulate Collection 80%

 

Aroma: cinnamon – like cinnamon teddy grahams, hint of mushroom/earthiness

 

Flavor: Wood and spice notes, coconut, distinct slightly grassy seed flavors – sesame, sunflower. Not particularly bitter or harsh, especially for an 80%. Little to no tanginess and astringency. Flavors are subtle – few distinct flavor notes. Reminds me of Pump Street Jamaica 75%.

Batch info: Best before March 29, 2020

 

Recommendation: Recommended. It’s very approachable for an 80% bar. I personally did not care for this flavor profile as much as I like some others, but it’s well balanced and I think plenty of people will enjoy it, especially if you’re looking for a range of 80% bars with different makers and styles.

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Jaguar Cacao in Heirloom Dark Chocolate

 

Aroma: chili, smoke, butter

 

Chocolate flavor: sweet and brown fruity – raisin, brown sugar. Buttery – the touch of salt brings it out. A slight astringency and a slightly odd chemical note. The salt and chili pepper are a pleasant addition and work well.

 

Jaguar cacao flavor: Mild and toasty, much like toasted soybeans. Not a lot of flavor in and of themselves, but not at all unpleasant.

 

Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. It was super fun to try a relative of cacao, and the flavor is pleasant. However, I don’t think the combination of the two particularly enhances either the chocolate or the whole jaguar cacao beans in a way that would make me buy this again, and I didn’t specifically love the chocolate. And for the relatively high price (~$16 in the US), I probably wouldn’t give it as a gift. But, I would highly recommend this for any chocolate geeks  or foodies – it’s unique enough to be worth it.

 

Batch info: Best by March 16, 2022

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Cacao Pulp in Heirloom Dark Chocolate

 

Aroma: Soft aromas of brown bread and dried fruit.

 

Cacao pulp flavor: sweet and tangy, like dried mango but softer. The texture is very delicate and it kind of dissolves. Lovely!

 

Chocolate flavor: Sweet, a flavor almost like milk chocolate, with a caramel note like Polish milk candy. Tangy, notes of cherimoya, red fruit, lemon, kumquat. A hint of citrus peel bitterness and a slight starchiness like powdered sugar.

 

Recommendation: Recommended. Both the cacao pulp and the chocolate have very pleasant flavors that work well together, and it’s fun to try two parts of the plant together. Expensive (~$16) but worth the experience for any dedicated chocophile or as a unique gift!

 

Batch info: Best before January 1, 2022

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