Brasstown Chocolate Review—Tasting Four Fine Dark Chocolate Bars

Brasstown Chocolate is a small-batch, bean-to-bar American chocolate company, founded by Rom Still and Barbara Price in Winston-Salem (North Carolina), in 2012. In 2015, the pair changed the initial business name, It’s Chocolate, into the current one for their kinship with the artists and artisans in Brasstown, North Carolina home to the premier John C. Campbell Folk Art School. As real artists, Rom & Barbara feel animated by the same ferment of working with cacao, studying the craft and experimenting with new techniques.

Brasstown Chocolate uses different single-origin Criollo, Trinitario, and Nacional beans in their creations.
A common element in all Brasstown Chocolates is the use of certified organic non-deodorized cocoa butter from the Dominican Republic. As Brasstown points out, chocolate can be manufactured without cocoa butter; however, its inclusion helps to bring out the flavors inherent in fine cacao beans. Also, it gives the chocolate a creamy texture.

Product evaluation

The four chocolate bars tasted had all been bought at Whole Foods Market in Asheville (also known as Greenlife Grocery Asheville).
The artistic illustrations on the packaging are signed by the talent of Lisa Pors, a local professional graphic designer and illustrator.

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Ecuador 75%Brasstown Chocolate Ecuador 75%

Made from Nacional beans of the Manabi province.

Winner at 2016 Good Food Awards and bronze winner at 2015 International Chocolate Awards – Americas.

Tasting notes: flowers, nuts, fruits, and spices. A pleasant, intense note of cacao with a fresh hint of jasmine and a musky note of mushrooms.

Brasstown Blend 85%Brasstown Chocolate Blend 85%

Tasting notes: floral and fruity with a distinct chocolate flavor, toasted nuts and coffee. The intense note of cacao is similar to the Ecuador bar, but I detected a more pronounced flavor of roasted beans.

Sea Salt 62%

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Made from Trinitario beans of the Dominican Republic and Rizek.

Bronze winner at 2015 International Chocolate Awards – Americas.

Tasting notes: flavor of butter, honey. The presence of the sea salt is very well balanced with the chocolate. This chocolate is my favorite among the bars reviewed from this maker.

Blueberry 75%

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Made from Nacional beans of the Manabi province.

Tasting notes: the intense note of cacao is similar to the Ecuador 75% bar, but the chocolate results sweeter for the presence of the dried, sweetened blueberries.

 

Overall, my experience with this artisan chocolate brand was positive and that’s why I look forward to tasting the remaining flavors created by the Winston-Salem company. The only aspect I would criticize is about the company presence on the social media: not having set up any Twitter or Instagram account to engage with their consumers is not something I would expect from a small chocolate business crafting quality products. Moreover, the Facebook page of Brasstown Chocolate is abandoned.

 

Where to find Brasstown Chocolate

Retail Stores in North Carolina: http://brasstownchocolate.com/retail-stores/

Online Shop (shipping only within the US): http://brasstownchocolate.com/shop/