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Solstice

Located in Utah (which is also home to Ritual, Amano, Millcreek, and the Chocolate Conspiracy), Solstice makes single origin bars plus a handful of blends and drinking chocolate.

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Madagascar Sambirano 70%

Aroma: brown sugar, raisin, date

Flavor: Lots of fruit and pleasant acidity - prune, orange, cherry vanilla. Reminds me of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. A little mineral-ness, brown sugar, slight dryness (walnut/nut skin), marshmallow. Slight dustiness.

Recommendation: Highly recommended.

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India Anamalai 70% (Lot: 18813)

(Lot 18813) Flavor: Fruity and tangy, with some peanut notes: sharp berries, pomegranate juice, tart cherry, fresh raspberry, raspberry jam, peanut butter and & jelly sandwich, lightly roasted peanuts. Their tasting notes say passion fruit, peanut, tangy raspberry - which is very accurate. Also a little vanilla, floral/violet, with nice acidity. Good finish, with a light toasted note as well as orange peel and raspberry jam.

Recommendation: Highly recommended.

(Lot 18814) Flavor:

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Vietnam Bén Tre 70%

Aroma: rich and inviting, with notes of oat and raisins

Flavor: Creamy dried fruit - raisin, lemon rind, crème fraîche, and raspberry licorice with a slight underlying earth flavor. The cacao butter works here; it adds a nice melt but the bar still has intense flavor.

Recommendation: Highly recommended. One of the best examples of this origin that I have had.

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Palos Blancos – Bolivia 70%

 

Aroma: dark honey, hint of smoked meat, vanilla, dried red fruit, raisin

 

Flavor: Rich mellow chocolate – fudge, butter, walnuts, cream – with smooth wood note. Dried fruit and complex sweetness – like fig cookies, caramel, medium dark honey. Very slight tang – apricot jam kind of in the back of the throat when you chew it. Nut butters, tahini but very mild, yogurt. Really nice balance of delicate wood/tannin flavors and very subtle fruit.

 

Recommendation: Highly recommended – this is actually one of my favorite bars. An interesting range of delicate flavors work well together. If you like this, get Fruition's Limited Release Bolivia bar.

 

Batch info: Expiration date: December 31, 2020

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Tanzania Kilombero 70%

Aroma: buttery – buttery fudge, caramel, condensed milk, faintest hint of port/red wine/woody/red wine vinegar, dried cherries, figs, raisins, old-fashioned black cherry soda but not that sweet

 

Flavor: Starts with red wine, woody, then rich buttery flavors emerge like chocolate custard, spices and brown fruit, dried cherry/fig/raisin/prune. Nice combination of the woody, gentle spice flavors and the dairy flavors. A soft bread/grain flavor like crackers. Very soft tangy notes – lemon or perhaps yogurty. Also subtle honey/peach/raspberry notes. Very slight grapefruit bitterness. Finishes with malted milk ball. Good balance.

 

Recommendation: Recommended.

 

Batch info: Batch no. 101212, Best by October 31, 2020

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Uganda Bundibugyo 70%

 

Aroma: saltines, French bread, buttered toast, roasted but not dark, lilac, toffee, dried fruit, leather

 

Flavor: distinct but not overwhelming woody tannins – walnut skins, vanilla, black tea, a creamy cookie flavor like vanilla pudding or cookies, toast, saltines, hints of red fruit but a little astringent, walnut skins, macadamia nuts. Very complex. Reminds me a little of Catongo. The soft walnut skin astringency makes me think the beans might be slightly under-roasted.

 

Recommendation: Recommended. Unique and worth trying.

 

Batch info: Batch no. 104058, Best by December 31, 2020

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India Anamalia 70%

 

Aroma: a rich, buttery aroma, anise, sourdough bread, dark toast, tangy like sour gummy candy, raisins, dried cherries, damp leaves, sherry vinegar

 

Flavor: Starts out with a dry cocoa base, then some pleasant tanginess appears – almost effervescent, some slightly sour astringency like green fruit (passionfruit), nibs, hint of cranberry juice or orange marmalade, red wine, sour dried cherries, soft woody flavors, some bread and vanilla notes on the finish

 

Recommendation: Recommended.

 

Batch info: Lot 090808, Best by December 31, 2020

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