Ritual

 

Based in Park City, Utah, this company makes chocolate that's bold, rustic, and distinctive, using top-quality beans from around the world. The flavors often come across as not totally refined, but in a good way - you really feel like you’re getting a sense of the cacao itself, and the care given to the process has balanced and refined the flavors just the right amount. This is the kind of chocolate I would choose if I was giving it to someone who doesn’t know a lot about chocolate, but likes bold flavors like strong coffee, whiskey, and smoked meat. It’s also the kind I would give to anyone who does know a lot about chocolate and enjoys trying the whole range of styles available.

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Mexico Soconusco 75%

Aroma: rich and woody aroma, like cocoa mulch, wood, roasted nibs, cinnamon, smoky like very dark roast coffee, raisins, leather

Flavor: Wow! Starts out tangy – some yellow fruit notes, molasses, raisin, and some raspberry sweetness, mellows to bitter, wood – an earthy, dusty (pleasant) flavor, and nut skin flavors with a creamy vanilla overtone. Also notes of prunes, damp earth, and hint of mushrooms. Lots of character and a bit of a bite. Evokes dark, wood-paneled rooms, a fire, pipe tobacco, and barrel-aged spirits.

Recommendation: Highly recommended. Bright, complex, and distinctive.

Batch/harvest info: Batch number 10, 2017 Harvest

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Nicaragua La Colonia 70% Limited Edition

 

Aroma: fresh wood, like a new cabin, dark dried cherry tang, cocoa shells, rich chocolate

 

Flavor: Starts off gently, with vanilla notes. Builds to wood, tangy lemon and red fruit, some tannins, leather, then these flavors give way to a very nice creaminess that balances the intensity. Kind of a berry sweetness at the end. Like a dark, kind of bitter vanilla cherry soda.

 

Recommendation: Recommended.

 

Batch info: Limited edition purchased April 2019. No additional information on package

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Madagascar Sambirano 75%

 

Aroma: leather, smoke/smoked meat, licorice, damp soil, coffee, rich and earthy, spicy, spicy wood, raspberry, peanut, tobacco, sweetgrass, raisins

 

Flavor: Woody with a lemony-lime tang. Very tangy – even some distinct acetic acid notes with a lingering vinegar flavor, some green woody astringency, bitter, coffee and dark roast flavors along with a few delicate notes of vanilla, marzipan, and rose.

 

Recommendation: Highly recommended. Eat this to wake yourself up in the morning with an intense burst of tangy, earthy flavor. Full of spunk and character – it has a fresher taste in a way, less conched maybe, leaving more vegetal flavors than you find in many other Madagascar bars.

 

Batch info: Batch no. 04, harvest year 2017, best by December 28, 2020

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Belize Toledo 75%

 

Aroma: leather, wood, cranberry

 

Flavor: a little bite, some tartness and earthiness, green wood, Dried cherries, very robust, earthy and tangy, but with a buttery creaminess. Vanilla, balsamic vinegar, red fruit jam, very tangy. Walnut.

 

Recommendation: Recommended. I think this bar is excellent – interesting and complex. However, it’s on the sour side so some people may not like it as much. It’s more rustic than Dandelion and Dick Taylor’s Maya Mountain bars.

 

Batch info: Batch no. 08, harvest year 2017, best by March 28, 2020

Bourbon-Barrel Aged 75%

 

Aroma: cocoa mulch, classic chocolate

 

Flavor: at first cocoa butter and cocoa powder, then vanilla, wood, tea- also a bright lemony sweetness

Recommendation: Highly recommended. The aging in whiskey barrels adds complexity without overpowering the cacao flavors. Rich and satisfying.

Batch info: Batch no. 9, 2018 Harvest, Best by September 10, 2021

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Ecuador Camino Verde 85%

 

Flavor: A rich, full flavor with lots of toasty and earthy notes: chocolate graham crackers, toasted nuts/grain, brownie; a little tanginess and some nutty flavors. Nice subtle sweetness.

 

Recommendation: Recommended.

 

Batch info: Batch 4, Best by January 2, 2022

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