Lindy's Rating: 6.0
Richard's Rating: 6.0
As with all of the bars in their Stone Ground line, this three ounce bar was scored into 16 pieces, each imprinted with three parallel lines. Stone Ground 80% came wrapped in silver foil-sided paper inside a textured paper sleeve. The sleeve of the bar we reviewed had a large orange sticker labeled with batch number 487. There was no best before date, but by entering batch number 487 on their home page, you can see information about how that batch of chocolate was made. For example, the beans were roasted within three months after they were received, for a total of 48 minutes at 237°F. The bars of this batch of chocolate were wrapped on 28 September 2011.
Stone Ground 80% had a medium-dark brown Bracken color (PANTONE 19-1015). Its surface was mostly smooth, with slight scuffing and several bubbles (much less substantial than on Stone Ground 87%). The bar had a medium hard snap.
Initially after breaking the chocolate, we received a sour aroma, quickly followed by scents of roast, earth, and fruit. The roast was cocoa and the fruit was a combination of citrus and berry. Lindy identified some blueberry in addition to the generic berry scent. We also smelled sweet and spice.
The taste of Stone ground 80% was sweet with a berry fruit flavor. I tasted a red wine flavor and Lindy tasted port. We also both experienced some sourness, which was a good contrast to the sweetness.
This chocolate had the expected grainy melt from a stone grind. The flavor lasted about 15 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a short length. The final aftertaste was slightly sour and very slightly acidic.
You can purchase Taza Stone Ground 80% online for $6.50 directly from Taza.