Colombia Tumaco 70%
Aroma: astringent, slightly smoky, savory, black olive
Flavor: sweet, unusual, with some starchy, fruity - peach, and slightly metallic mineral notes, along with a heavy cream richness similar to Fruition’s Tumaco bar. A little bit of acidity and a distinct walnut/red wine/black tea-like dryness at the end.
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. I liked this more after trying it a few times, as I got accustomed to the slightly unusual flavors. It does have a noticeable dryness, so if you don’t like that then you may not enjoy this as much.
Batch info: Batch no. 20041; Best before June 2021
Duarte Dominican Republic 70%
Aroma: rich and slightly savory – a hint of soy sauce, earth, brownie, dry tea
Flavor: Very rich - lovely toasty flavor, graham crackers, a little citrus and heavy cream resulting in a great creamy/tangy blend like lemon ice cream. Perhaps a hint of raspberry, molasses, and tamarind as well. A nice mix of deep chocolate flavors and lighter notes. Also, a slight metallic grassy flavor – probably from the sugar. I have noticed this exact flavor before in other chocolate that uses organic sugar. It is faint and does not noticeably detract from the very good overall flavor.
Recommendation: Recommended – probably one of my favorites from the Dominican Republic so far.
Batch info: Batch # 20055; Best by July 2021
Costa Rica Upala 85%
Aroma: toasty, caramel, earthy – root cellar, hint of floral – hyacinth?, cornstarch, slight astringence
Flavor: Good. Overall, a slightly darker, bitter (but not excessively so) profile with some noticeable tannins that give it a toasted walnut skin note along with wood, vanilla, dark caramel, molasses, and soy. It has great richness that rounds it out: heavy cream, macadamia, walnut. Toasted marshmallow as well. Bursts of pleasant tanginess – lime, acetic acid, green apple. Some lingering savoriness and a bit of a back-of-the-throat bite.
Recommendation: Recommended. This is a great combination of robust flavors and smooth richness from cocoa butter.
Batch info: Batch no. 20017; Best before March 2021
Uganda Semuliki 75%
Aroma: rich, wood, dried fruit
Flavor: Very rich, full flavor: Almond butter, hint of lemon zest, wood, coconut oil, some bitterness but not excessive, dried red fruit (cherries, cranberries), nice tanginess, heavy cream, walnut, dark toast, a little tangy/spice bite at the end. Velvety texture. Very slight starchiness and grassy/metallic flavor, probably from the sugar. I say the sugar because I have noticed the exact same faint flavor in their other bars and in bars from other makers who use organic sugar. It is faint enough that it does not detract from the excellent flavor overall!
Recommendation: Highly recommended. A great example of this origin, with rich, satisfying flavors, good complexity, and a wonderful texture.
Batch info: Batch #20035; Best by June 2021