October 2015 – Michel Cluizel, Dick Taylor, Valrhona, Black Mountain

Bar & Cocoa october

Featured Chocolate Makers

We are pleased to showcase bean to bar chocolate from Michel Cluizel, Dick Taylor, Valrhona, and Black Mountain.

These bars showcase the Trinitario bean variety. Each maker’s process, and bean origin make create different taste profiles.


Michel Cluizel (France) Los Acones 67% is considered one of the masterpiece chocolates from this maker. Made from pure Trinitario beans from a single farm by the same name. This unique bar holds a complex assortment of apricot, peach and green olive. And while this bar is soy-free, the maker did choose to add some bourbon vanilla to round out the flavor. This bar has won accolades from many institutions including Gold at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in 2011.

Dick Taylor

Our darkest bar of this box, the beautiful bar from Dick Taylor (USA) Finca Elvesia, 74% is also made from Trinitario cacao from the Domincan Republic. Do you remember the Pralus bar from the previous month? Notice the difference in how European and American chocolate makers using beans of similar origins end up with very different tasting chocolate. What makes this earthy, citrusy and tannic bar impressive is the lack of any additional butter or emulsifiers. The 74% comes purely from the cacao, and has only one additional ingredient – sugar.

Valrhona (France) Noir Manjari 64% is a bar made from cacao grown in Sambirano Valley, Madagascar. This bar has a nice fruitiness and smoothness that makes for a wonderful introduction to those who are only familiar with milk chocolate,. The fresh, acidic sharp bouquet also makes this versatile and pairs well with both white and red wines. Try an acidic Sauvignon Blanc or a strong Zinfandel to mellow out the flavor. Valrhona is recognized as one of the greatest bean to bar chocolate makers, and founded the world renowned Ecole du Grand Chocolat school, of which many excellent chocolate makers are graduates, including the next one.

Black Mountain Chocolate (USA) Cacao Nib Bar 70% is bar from a small batch chocolate maker in North Carolina. The roasted cacao nibs give it a fantastic crunch. The combination of the dark chocolate and nibs give this an earthy texture and flavor. This bar pairs well with an intense port or a rich beer – stout or porter.

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