I love trying stuff from new chocolate makers, especially new Australian chocolate makers. Usually the road to getting my hands on the stuff involves a couple of days or a week so the wait can be intense. Nick’s Chocolate was well worth the wait! I purchased one of each of his four offerings, Venezuela, Guatemala, PNG and Ecuador. The Venezuelan was a Carenero Superior, which I am a sucker for, love it. Nick formulates at 75% which I felt was a little high, I think the flavours would have been a bit more emboldened by going to a 70-72% chocolate but that is personal preference probably. The flavours were spot on, it tasted like Carenero, a delicious subtle complex chocolate, very yummy. The Ecuador was fantastic, huge floral bouquet, Jasmine flowers, and at the other end of the spectrum deliciously chocolatey, as good as I have tasted, fabulous. I had never tried a Guatemalan chocolate before and was not disappointed, this is a chocolate makers chocolate for sure, the chocolate had full flavours right from the instant you put it in your mouth, so complex and unique, good astringency, magnificent. I think that this bean would probably make the most delicious dark milk chocolate, I would love to be working with formulating this bean. It would lend itself very well to a number of flavourings too because of its strength and distinctiveness. The PNG was my least favourite but only because I don’t particularly like the smoked flavour that quite often comes with PNG cocoa because of their fire drying practices, that said Nick has done very well to tame and integrate this flavour in this chocolate, a difficult thing to do I have found with certain batches I have used over the years. Underneath the smoke it is a full flavoured cacao with great fruit notes and good chocolate intensity typical of PNG. It will have its fans I am sure. On the whole I am jealous of the quality of the beans that Nick has to work with. A fantastic range of chocolate with very distinct, individual flavour profiles. Be sure to get your hands on some!
Oh, forgot to mention, packaging: excellent, tempering: excellent, mouthfeel: perfect, not to course or too fine and cloying, perfect.
Well, looks like I'll have to get onto some ordering - thanks for the review Tom.
Wow, you did well getting in - all currently sold out on the on-line store.
My parents live in Brisbane not far from Nick so got Mum to pop in and get some of the last of his product. A mate of mine just came back from Brisbane and said there were some bars still in Monty's Chocolate, Paddington store (Venezuela and Guatemala). I don't know if you have bought from Monty's before but they are very good to get chocolate from, give them a call. You'll be paying a little extra from them though. Monty's are also are selling the Cravve bars by Peter on the Gold Coast, I didn't know until I saw a photo on Nick's facebook page just today, so that is my next chocolate maker to get hold of....oh, and Bahen Chocolate, still haven't managed to lay my hands on those bars yet either.
you haven't had Bahen yet? Get some of the Madagascar and Brazil - the Brazil I was really taken with. I will have a look at Monty's - thanks for the lead.
No, Josh has been really busy and wanted to send me some of his PNG he was working on over Christmas, haven't heard from him this year yet though. I read your review of his bars and can't wait to get some.
I saw on Josh's twitter feed the PNG being ground and also that he was making mention of Solomon Islands.