Box Chocolate Review

Donnelly

Info Details
Country USA   (Santa Cruz, CA)
Style Classic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Where some are out to lunch then soon put out to pasture, Donnelly has gone off to surf. Yeah, he jumped the shark – a while ago - but this chocolate dealer to the Santa Cruz beachheads is one of the originals to take off on the New American Chocolate Wave. The tide has since moved farther north to SF, diffracting some of his cocoa-dynamics, & his broceanography may be slipping, but he’s still the Big Kahuna ‘round these shoals.
Presentation   4 / 5
standard molds but the handmade fabric-like Japanese wrappers around his bars are among the best in the biz
Aromas   4.3 / 5
slight nod to chocolate
Textures/Melt   7.8 / 10
Shells: medium gauge
Centers: dense, firm & still soft
Flavor   41.2 / 50
admirable balance – mid-strength infusions buttressed by relatively tannic couverture
Quality   23.6 / 30
Tube-riding the same wave that came in decades ago
Selections
Couverture: Valrhona, Cacao Barry, Callebaut
Truffles/Ganache
Chipotle – chipotle hits against strong reverberating chocolate that smokes up like weed
Pistache – all chocolate, buried nut
Berry – ditto
Cardamon – complex-city
Rose – nearing soap-strength
(liquid) Caramel – tender butterscotch
Star Anise – well-executed
Tahitian Vanilla – soft w/ notes of cherry-almond
Peanut Butter – soft, undermuscled PB? Nah, just an inner-girlie thing

Bars
Hazelnut Toffee – fun, fun, fun – Milk Choc embedded w/ ice-cream-like nut
crunch - ‘til the Milk Mommy took the T-nut away
Ginger – full-on aroma; emptied out taste
Cinnamon – spice-kissed nose, lips, & tongue
French Roast – sheered harmony; on-point
Cardamom – highly extracted & clear; slightly antiseptic
5 Spice – brassy, bright spike lept out of balance
Lavander – lumpy texture; herbal medicine – light & saponified; still, good integration
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