Monday, January 2, 2006

Lake Champlain Select Origins

I’ve reviewed a few single orgin chocolates before (and I really liked the Chocovic). I find the idea of it being like fine wine and elusive and all that intriguing, but it’s also kind of frustrating because you might find something really fantastic that can never be replicated. That’s why chocolate blends like we’re used to are so widely used. A Hershey bar always tastes like a Hershey bar. Godiva always tastes like Godiva.

Lake Champlain is also the maker of the highly esteemed and highly expensive Five Star Bars. And of course my friends Will & Susan are well aware of my affection for good chocolates and gave this to me for Christmas.


The packaging is very pretty, four different single origin/cocoa percentages in pretty little wrappers and six of each little square. They’re in a clear plastic box that lets you see the delectable stacks of squares. Not only did I review these in alphabetical order, but it also happens to be the order of increasing cocoa solids.

African Blend (54% cocoa solids) - This one was by far the sweetest, it has a good mild woodsy aroma with a slight smoky note. It’s not at all complex, but very pleasant.

Grenada (60% cocoa solids) - This one has a remarkable lavender hint to it, with a lot of other balsalm notes and definite herbal qualities. The finish is rather bitter and dry but it’s also pretty sweet and buttery and smooth.

Sao Thome (70% cocoa solids) - This one has more immediate bitter notes and though very smooth it was also rather dry. The buttery melt has a slightly tart bite towards the end, complex blend of woodsy notes and vanilla. By far my favorite, the most chocolatey in my feeling.

Tanzania (75% cocoa solids) - This one was exceptionally smooth and buttery, which surprised me given its high cocoa solids. It was also bitter and had a very dry finish. There was a bit of a sour bite on the front of the mouth and a slight cherry note to the whole flavor (a blend of both the sour cherry and the more robust wild cherry flavor).

I tasted all of these without looking at the website and was pleased to see that I was tasting the same things that they’re selling these squares on. These types of tasting squares are a great way to get a good cross section of all the flavors that chocolate can hold within it.

Name: Small World Chocolates: Select Origin
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Lake Champlain
Place Purchased: gift (but available from Whole Foods & online)
Price: unknown
Size: 6.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 141
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Lake Champlain, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:26 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I’ve been eyeing these at Whole Foods while trying to choose what to go home with and just haven’t gotten around to them just yet.  Sounds like Sao Thome is right up my alley.

    And the info/rating box is really nice!

    Comment by normyk on 1/02/06 at 1:55 pm #
  2. I thought I had also seen these at TJs but maybe I’m mistaken.  I like the look of the wrapping, plus the perfect flat chocolate squares just look cool too.  I wouldn’t mind trying the Tanzania, dig that high percentage of cocoa solids in the chocolate.

    I must concur on the rating box thingy… a very nice addition!

    Comment by Bryan on 1/02/06 at 8:59 pm #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Bryan - I did see something at TJ’s that is probably similar. It’s a box of 45 single origins (15 each of three 70%+ varieties) for only $7.99 (7.4 ounces).

    I don’t think TJ’s has a deal with Lake Champlain (but I wouldn’t be surprised) but it’s more likely that it’s from Chocovic, someone they already deal with.

    They sound good and when I’m done with these I’ll probably pick some up (unless someone gives them to me for my birthday).

    Thanks for the kudos on the ratings box. It was part of the original design but it took me a while to get the hang of the coding.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/02/06 at 10:06 pm #
  4. I went to the Chocolate exhibit at Fernbank in Atlanta and bought these as well as a bunch of others. These are sooo yummy. I never knew I adored the non-milk choc. versions so much. My sis also got a bunch too. This is my new fav. i had to go back after the run of the museum and get more.

    Comment by nini on 2/24/06 at 8:46 am #
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