Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Dick Taylor Belize Toledo

Richard's Rating: 8.5
chocolate makerDick Taylor
barBelize Toledo
cacao trees(unknown)
size57g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids72%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$7.50
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1317
Bitter Chocolate
appearanceimprint, smooth
aromaearth (mold), floral (hibiscus), fruit (prune), spice, roast (malt)
tastesweet, earth, floral, fruit (apricot), spice (cinnamon), dairy, tannin, roast (malt)
finishtannin, slightly acidic
In their Arcata, California, factory, U.S. bean to bar makers Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor currently craft chocolate bars from four origins: Belize, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Madagascar. They previously made a bar from Bolivia as well.

As with all of their unflavored bars, Dick Taylor made Belize Toledo from only two ingredients: 72% organic cacao and 28% cane sugar. The bar was not certified organic. The beans for this chocolate came from Maya Mountain Cacao, who purchases cacao from farmers in the Toledo and Stann Creek districts of Belize.

Belize Toledo came wrapped in gold foil-sided wax paper inside a paper envelope. There was a pull tab to open the outer paper envelope, but it didn't function for me and merely tore off. The best before date for the bar reviewed here was August 2014, and the batch number was 13224.

The color of the chocolate was a medium-dark brown Bitter Chocolate (PANTONE 19-1317). The bar had Dick Taylor's intricate mold, and this particular bar looked beautiful. The imprint was clear and the surface was smooth. Several very fine bubbles were present, but did not detract from the overall appearance.

The bar had a hard snap. The aroma included earth, floral, fruit, spice, and roast scents. The floral scent reminded me of hibiscus. The earthiness contained a suggestion of mold. The fruit scent included prune. The roast was malt.

Belize Toledo tasted initially sweet. As the chocolate began to melt, earthiness transitioned into floral and fruit. The fruit flavor included apricot. A cinnamon spice flavor was present, along with some dairy. I noticed tannin and a malt roast as well.

The melt was superior, with a creaminess nearly as good as Rogue's. The chocolate flavor lasted more than 50 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a long length. The finish was tannin and slightly acidic.

This is my favorite of Dick Taylor chocolates, and the best bar I've tasted in months. Belize Toledo easily joins our Best Chocolates Overall. This chocolate bar won a bronze at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in September and a Good Food Award this month.

You can purchase Belize Toledo online for $7.50 directly from Dick Taylor.

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