Olive & Sinclair—A Brief Review On The Only Small-Batch Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Maker In Tennessee

Olive & Sinclair is Tennessee’s only bean-to-bar chocolate company, founded in 2007 and based in Nashville. The name comes from two old names within the family of the company’s owner Scott Witherow: Sinclair is a reference to his grandfather, whereas Olive to his wife’s great aunt.

Olive & Sinclair has protected their slowly-roasted and stone-ground chocolate with a distinct trademark, Southern Artisan Chocolate. This concept began with the idea of stone grinding chocolate, inspired by using melangeurs (French for ‘stone mills’) from the early 1900’s and adding pure cane brown sugar for a robust flavor and moderate sweetness.
Besides adopting an old-world way of manufacturing chocolate from the bean, Olive & Sinclair also “prepares” their cacao gems by aging them in Bourbon barrels and smoking them in prized smokehouses. For white chocolate, the company uses buttermilk to balance its cloying sweetness.


Product evaluation

67% Cacao Chocolate Bar (purchased at French Broad Chocolates Boutique in Asheville, NC)

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Ingredients: cacao beans (Ghana), brown sugar, cacao butter.

Tasting notes: initial aroma and flavor of tobacco, intense cacao flavor in the middle, and a hint of molasses at the end.


What I liked the most:

  • the packaging;
  • the old-world stone-ground processing method;
  • the smooth texture;
  • the pungent mouth-feel of aged cacao.


 What I liked the least:

  • the absence of information on the variety of the Fair-Trade Ghana beans. However, I guess it’s a fine sub-varietal of Forastero cacao.


Overall, even if my evaluation stuck to just one sample of this chocolate brand, my tasting experience with it was positive.


Where to find Olive & Sinclair Chocolate


Visit the factory: http://www.oliveandsinclair.com/factory-tours/


List of stockists: ask directly to the company by:

  • email: info@oliveandsinclair.com
  • phone: (+1) 615 262 3007