Week 8. Dick Taylor Bolivia 70%

Cacao: 70%        Type: Dark chocolate         Origin: Bolivia

Region: Alto Beni, wild harvest 

Ingredients: organic cacao & organic cane sugar

Where to Buy: online or at numerous locations worldwide

Average Price: $11.00         Bar Size: 2 oz

Awards

  • 2016 Good Food Award Winner
  • 2015 Northwest Chocolate Festival Silver Winner  
  • 2015 Northwest Chocolate Festival Founders Choice Award Winner.

Cacao Origin Map

Personal Tasting Notes

Let me start at the beginning. Because that's the only place to start with a Dick Taylor bar. As soon as one picks up the package, one can sense that this is a bar of a whole different class among so many others. The hand-printed packaging alone could win awards, but that's just the beginning. Open up that gorgeous package (yes, there is some mental anguish involved in desecrating the seal, but it's well worth it), and the next treat is the intricate filigree design of the bar itself. This chocolate bar is among the most gorgeous in the world, hands down. 

Now on to the actual chocolate. The senses are primed and the odds are good that this is going to be one heckuva experience--and it is. The big inhalation before taking a bite reveals so much about a bar, and for me, it was so heady, and redolent of cherries and cream, caramel and fig and molasses. That complexity is a really, really good sign that eating the chocolate is going to be an adventure. And a good one.

So this chocolate reminds me of a blend of Nicaraguan and Venezuelan chocolates: there's a flavor I can only describe as Oreo cookie that comes out to me in Nicaraguan chocolate, and I find hints of that in this bar, but tamed and rounded out by the deep, cocoa-forward nature of Venezuelan chocolate. It's like a marriage of two amazing flavor worlds...or, uh, countries.

To start out with, I experienced a rich, deep cocoa flavor, combined with a luxurious buttery mouthfeel (kudos to Dick Taylor for accomplishing this with no added cocoa butter!) which was soon joined by a nut-buttery flavor that reminded me just a little of chocolate peanut butter cups. Towards the end, that rich cocoa persisted, and gained some momentum with notes of molasses, dark dried cherries and almond butter; that melange of flavors stayed long after the last silky chocolate bits had dissipated, and left me with  a duality of deep satisfaction and a desire for more. Moreover, When eating this bar, one thing makes itself absolutely clear: this is a chocolate that has been developed, and doted on, and listened to, and brought to the very top of its game. That's what Dick Taylor does. 

Maker Profile

Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor are what I've dubbed "chocstars" (and yes, that's Dustin Taylor's autograph you see on the package picture--I'm a certified fan-girl). They are luminaries in the craft chocolate world, and they completely embody everything bright and beautiful in the craft food movement: best practices, vintage equipment, slow and meticulous attention to detail, well-developed and ever-refining processes, and of course, awesome packaging. These guys are the real deal. Their chocolate is so much more than a few seconds on the taste buds--it is a sensory experience that speaks of refinement and a relentless pursuit of beauty and perfection. From their hand-printed outer packaging to their stunningly beautiful bar mold to the flavor and texture of every bar, Dick Taylor chocolate is infused with the makers' dedication to taking the long way home--and enjoying every step of that journey. 

Grading Rubric

Criteria
Good Characteristics
5
4
3
2
1
0
Bad Characteristics
Appearance
clean, shiny, snappy
  
  
  
  
  
  
bloomed, dull finish, no snap
Aroma
complex, distinctive
  
  
  
  
  
  
neutral, boring, flat
Start
flavors develop quickly
  
  
  
  
  
 
flavors slow in coming, uninteresting
Middle
flavors develop and change
  
  
  
  
  
  
flavors remain the same as the start
Finish
flavors change again and linger well beyond the chocolate
  
  
  
  
  
  
flavor ends abruptly, uninterestingly
Mouth Feel
smooth, velvety
  
  
  
  
  
  
grainy, inconsistent
Personal Preference
love, love, LOVE it!
  
  
  
  
  
  
meh.
Criteria
5
4
3
2
1
0
Characteristics
Appearance
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: clean, shiny, snappy
0: bloomed, dull finish, no snap
Aroma
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: complex, distinctive
0: neutral, boring, flat
Start
  
  
  
  
  
 
5: flavors develop quickly
0: flavors slow in coming, uninteresting
Middle
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: flavors develop and change
0: flavors remain the same as the start
Finish
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: flavors change again and linger well beyond the chocolate
0: flavor ends abruptly, uninterestingly
Mouth Feel
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: smooth, velvety
0: grainy, inconsistent
Personal Preference
  
  
  
  
  
  
5: love, love, LOVE it!
0: meh.

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