Solkiki Belize Toledo 73% 86.5/100

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This mix of trinitario and criollo beans are sourced from Maya Cacao an export co-op comprised of just 750 family farmers each with about an acre of land in Toledo, Belize. Once harvested and processed they are shipped to Iris and Bob in Dorset, where foregoing their degrees in Clinical Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction, they instead turn their passion and skills to turning these beans into one of their vegan chocolate bars. Using cobbled together equipment at their dedicated chocolate workshop, they stonegrind their chocolate using intensive labour in place of high tech gadgetry to produce their craft chocolate.

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I’ve tried a number of bars from Belize now and flavour wise they seem distinctly different from their neighbours in Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. So far I’ve experienced a leaning toward tropical and stonefruit flavours, with a medium acidity and a general softer, lighter tone. My expectations for this bar are pretty similar, I’d expect some yellow fruit tones and a general lightness, hoping that this bar provides a good level of dimension. Snapping a piece of the decorative flower print bar off reveals aromas of dark, smokey cocoa truffle with just a hint of florals, not exactly what I’d been expecting. Placing a piece in my mouth continues the truffle theme, with a texture familiar to me as rolled truffles in cocoa powder, it’s big and fudgey. To taste this bar is dominantly a big chocolate fudge brownie, both in texture and flavour, rounded out by some citrus, tea and vanilla like flavours. It’s generally soft and balanced and while presenting some darker flavours it’s fairly light in presence. In general this bar does almost everything well, it’s just not a bar that does anything with particular greatness. There’s good flavour and its fairly balanced with some interesting notes, there’s just nothing in particular that makes it stand out, nothing individual to its terroir or overly characteristic in terms of its attributes, this is just fine flavoured chocolate. This isn’t a criticism exactly, more an observation, this is for all intents and purposes a tasty bar of chocolate and its enjoyable for once to have a natural tasting vanilla flavour that’s in balance with the bar, but it lacks something individual and character defining, which I would expect of cocoa from Belize. Best enjoyed as a light after dinner chocolate to round out a refined meal. 

Ingredients: Organic maya cacao bean, organic bonechar-free cane sugar

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Medium brown
Texture: Fudgey chalk
Mould: Solkiki flower print slab
Snap: Very crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Cocoa truffle, violet, smoke, nutty tobacco
Quality: Velvety, slightly metallic

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Truffle, fudge
Quality: Big, full, texturally present

Acidity 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 3
Notes: Faint citrus, flowery tea
Quality: Uplifting, rounding

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Demerara sugar, honey
Quality: Developed, honest

Flavour 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Chocolate fudge brownie, violet, bergamot, vanilla
Quality: Soft, balanced

Length 8.5/10

Flavours start off a little subdued, but begin reaching out in length, rounding on long waves

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Vanilla, cocoa
Quality: there’s a slow tapering off of fruit and acidity, before a finish full of cocoa and vanilla that’s pretty clean with flavours pleasantly receding after the finish

Balance 9/10

This is a bar with a hefty base of cocoa tones with middle sweet notes and some top end citrus all working back to the base, heavy structure keeps everything in place and robustly balanced

Overall 8.5/10

Bar has a large depth of flavour, but could benefit from some additional dimension, small amount of complexities are overly balanced, while structure remains consistent expression seems honest but not necessarily full of clarity for terroir, processing has produced a consistent long melt


Solkiki’s Tasting Notes: This fine flavour cacao from south Belize delivers mouth-wateringly juice notes of the tropics. The light citrus acidity is balanced with a soft woody base and sweet, creamy vanilla.

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