Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cincinnati's Maverick Chocolate Delivers a Silky Smooth Taste Experience

It is rare that I taste a line-up of chocolate bars by one chocolate maker, and enjoy every single one equally. But that is exactly what happened when I tasted three of Maverick Chocolate Company's bars. This American craft chocolate maker is making chocolate from bean to bar in Cincinnati's historic Findlay Market, and they are doing a damn good job.

Maverick Chocolate is a true family business. Owners and 'Head Chocolate Makers', Paul and Marlene, have also enlisted their two sons and daughter-in-law to work in the business as chocolate makers, as well as being in charge of important tasks like marketing, writing and chocolate-making equipment maintenance.

I was so excited about this chocolate that I wrote to Paul Picton, to ask what makes it so special.  "Our grinding and conching process is four days long", he explained, which is longer than many other craft chocolate makers. Maverick also carefully tests and adjusts the ratios of beans-to-sugar and other ingredients to bring out the best results for each origin and flavoured chocolate.  And to me, that attention to detail clearly shines in the three Maverick chocolate bars that I tasted.

Below are my tasting notes and details on each chocolate bar.  My chocolate bars were purchased at a retailer in the Washington, DC area, but Maverick's chocolate is also available to buy online, at a cost of $8 to $10 per bar, with a flat-rate shipping fee of $6.95 on all orders (US shipping only).  For more information on Maverick Chocolate Co., visit:

Maverick Chocolate Tasting Notes and Chocolate Bar Details:

70% Belize Dark Chocolate, 2.3 oz (65g)

Tasting Notes: Silky smooth with roasted nuts, and sweetened cappuccino flavours. The nut flavour is like caramelized roasted peanuts and almonds, certainly not that savoury walnut flavour found in many Ecuadorian chocolates. This was a new taste sensation for me and I loved it.

Product Details:
Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter. May contain traces of nuts, wheat and milk products. Soy free. Vegan.

65% Espresso Dark Chocolate, 2.3 oz (65g)

This chocolate bar was created by chocolate maker, Paul Picton, because of a love of chocolate-covered espresso beans, which he used to munch on while cycling to University in Canada. He "wanted to create a bar that was reminiscent of chocolate covered espresso beans, but not so gritty or crunchy." And he did just that, by creating a smooth espresso flavoured chocolate bar using a local ethical Cincinnati coffee roaster`s espresso (Deeper Roots) and pairing it with a blend of Dominican Republic-grown and Peruvian-grown cocoa beans to round out the chocolate flavour and balance the sweetness.

Tasting Notes: Extra smooth, creamy espresso dark chocolate with just the right sweetness. With only four ingredients, you can't get a better tasting chocolate.

Product Details:
Ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic coffee beans. May contain traces of nuts, wheat and milk products. Soy free. Vegan.

82% Tumbes (Peru) Dark Chocolate, 2.3 oz (65g)

Tasting Notes: Also very smooth, and with only two ingredients it has a bit slower melt than the others, with a savoury and bitter/tangy taste that tasted like roasted tart cherries to me on the second taste. Overall, I like the mysterious nature of its flavour and quite enjoyed this 82%.

Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans and organic cane sugar. May contain traces of nuts, wheat and milk products. Soy free. Vegan.


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