Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Stirs the Soul Honey Dark Chocolate

Lindy's Rating: 7.5
Richard's Rating: 7.0
chocolate makerStirs the Soul
barHoney Dark
cacao trees(unknown)
size28g ~ 1.0oz
cocoa solids84%
added fatcocoa butter
other ingredients(none)
list price$3.20
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, glossy, scoring
aromaearth, floral, fruit (tropical), honey, spice
snapmedium hard
tastesour, floral, fruit (pear), earth, roast, spice, dairy, hint of sweet
meltless smooth to smooth
finishslightly sour, slightly acidic, slightly tannin
Daren Hayes hand-crafts stone-ground bean to bar raw chocolate as Stirs the Soul in Portland. His raw chocolate contains only organic or wild ingredients and never exceeds 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44°C) during processing. He makes two single origin chocolates (Origins Ecuador and Origins Madagascar), and three unflavored bars (Blissful Dark, Dark, and Honey Dark), each with a different low glycemic sweetener.

Honey Dark contained 84% cocoa solids (cacao beans and cocoa butter). The remaining 16% was local unfiltered honey from the Willamette Valley. All of the ingredients were raw and the cacao was organic and fair trade. The bar was not certified. As with his other unflavored blend chocolates, this tiny one ounce bar was scored into six pieces. It came wrapped in an orange-sided foil inside a paper sleeve. The bar we reviewed was labeled as lot # 116, but had a blank best before date. As you can see in the picture below of four Stirs the Soul chocolate bars, it had an unusual curved shape (Honey Dark is second from the left).

The color of the chocolate was slightly more red than Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface of the bar was smooth with a glossy top. The snap was medium hard.

Honey Dark's aroma included the now familiar earth, floral, fruit, and spice scents. There was an earthy honey scent as well. The fruit smelled to Lindy as a dried tropical fruit, and she described the earthy scent as wet.

To Lindy, the chocolate tasted sour at the start, followed by floral with a slight sweetness, roast, and dairy. I experienced the same sourness at the start, but it was combined with a pear fruit and earth flavors for me. After that, I tasted the floral with spice, earth, dairy, and a hint of sweetness.

The melt seemed less smooth to Lindy, though I felt it was smooth enough to qualify as smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a short length. The finish was slightly sour and slightly acidic to me, and slightly tannin to Lindy.

Overall, Lindy enjoyed this raw chocolate more than roasted chocolates of similar percentage cocoa solids. This was another good raw chocolate from Stirs the Soul.

You can purchase Honey Dark Chocolate bars in packs of three for $9.60 in the U.S. directly from Stirs the Soul, or internationally if you phone them at 503-774-4903.

No comments:

Post a Comment