Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: Lillie Belle Farms Dark Star 80%

Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerLillie Belle Farms
barDark Star 80%
regionDominican Republic, Peru
cacao trees(unknown)
size77g ~ 2.7oz
cocoa solids80%
added fat(none)
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1012
Dark Brown
texturesmooth, relief, uneven sheen, bubbles
aromaearth (musty), fruit (plum, berry), roast, sweet
tastesour, roast (cocoa), fruit (prune, berry), nut, sweet (honey), tannin
finishacidic, slightly bitter, slightly sour
Jeff Shephard is the amazingly creative and passionate chocolate maker (and painter, sculptor, musician, and all-around artist) behind Lillie Belle Farms. The name comes from his daughter Lillie and wife Belle.

Jeff started the company more than a decade ago, selling truffles locally in Oregon. Although known for their other chocolates, Lillie Belle began making bean to bar chocolate for sale in 2010. In addition to flavored bars such as his intense chili-infused Do Not Eat This Chocolate bar, Jeff makes unflavored chocolate as well. Other bars we've reviewed include Perfect Illusion 65% and Purple Haze 75%

Dark Star 80% was inspired by the Grateful Dead song. It was crafted with a mix of cacao from the Dominican Republic (sourced via La Red) and Peru (sourced via CEPICAFE).

The ingredients were 80% organic cacao beans with added sugar and organic vanilla beans. The 2.7 ounce bar came wrapped in gold-sided foil inside a paper wrapper. There was no production or best before date on the bar I purchased at the Northwest Chocolate Festival.

Dark Star had a medium brown Dark Brown color (PANTONE 19-1012). The surface had a matte finish on top and smooth underside, with a relief of "Lillie Belle Farms" and two flowers. The sheen was somewhat uneven and there were some bubbles. The bar had a hard snap.

The aroma contained earth, fruit, and roast scents. The earth was musty, and the fruit scent included plum and berry. It also smelled sweet to me.

The chocolate had a heavy roast and tasted sour. I noticed fruit flavors of prune and berry. There was nuttiness as well as a sweetness in the form of honey. Tannin was also present.

The melt was smooth. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting about 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was somewhat acidic, slightly bitter and slightly sour.

You can purchase Dark Star 80% online directly from Lillie Belle Farms for $8.00.

1 comment:

  1. richard,

    The dark star bar, like the GD song it is honoring, is an ongoing conversation between the maker and the beans- exactly like the song. The batch from september of 2012 was indeed a blend of DR and Peru. As of now it is a blend of Peru, Venezuela, Madagascar. Deeper, richer, less astringent on the end.