August 10th: Willie's Delectable Cacoa Rio Caribe Superior / San Martin

Around the same time I started this website a chap by the name of Willie Harcourt-Cooze started his own ChocolateMission of creating the worlds best chocolate (Article HERE). His mission unlike my own was accompanied by a TV series on channel 4 (one of the most popular TV channels here in the UK). The programmes charted Willie's journey from sourcing his cocoa beans, setting up his production in the UK, all the way to the point of producing the bars like I have reviewed today.

Due to the success of the TV series these bars have been a little tricky to get hold of. Luckily for me though ChocolateMission reader Emma was ever so kind in picking these up from Selfridges and sending them to me.

In regards to presentation I thought the bars were relatively well designed. Both came in 80.0g forms with both the variants containing two smaller 40.0g thick square pieces. In regards to the outer packaging both boxes were well decorated with some nice looking fonts and interesting information about how the bars were crafted. Whilst I liked the appearance of the chocolate I have to admit it wasn't the practical to eat. The 40.0g blocks were short and stubby which meant breaking them up without them melting on the hands was a little messy.

Having assessed everything but the taste there was only one question left to answer and that was if Willie had created the best chocolate in the world ...

Willie's Delectable Cacoa Venezuelan 72% Rio Caribe Superior:

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

According to the blurb the cocoa beans used for this bar originate from the finest cocoa regions in Venezuela and are roasted in Willie's chocolate factory in England using 100 year old chocolate making machinery .... wooo! This had to be good right?

From the off I could tell this was going to be a full flavoured chocolate as the fresh smell of the cocoa was immediately evident once the golden foil was opened. This was all but confirmed when I placed the first piece in my mouth as the intense flavours took no time at all to establish themselves. The cocoa flavours were raw and earthy and made a distinct impression in the mouth throughout the duration of the melt. Speaking of the melt I liked the pace and slight bit of grit that could be felt as it transformed into a thick cocoa liquor in the mouth. Going back to the taste the flavours were pleasant yet not all that progressive and I felt that there was a touch of sugar or vanilla needed in the aftertaste to make the lasting impression a little more friendly.

Overall as you will have noticed this was my favourite out of the two and would probably be the one I would buy again if it came to it. As far as dark chocolate goes this was of a fair to good standard but nothing truly made it stand out from other more well rounded chocolates I have had before. The cocoa strength was there but it didn't show much progression from its initial dark, roasted flavour set and the aftertaste was begging for just a touch of sweetness to make it a more well rounded taste.

8.3 out of 10

Willie's Delectable Cacoa Peruvian 70% San Martin:

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

Selected from the province of San Martin in Peru the cocoa beans used in this bar were also roasted and formed in chocolate in Willie's factories here in the UK. Although both bars looked exactly the same had you blindfolded me I could easily have told them apart due to some quite evident differences.

For starters the smell of this bar was a little less intense and had some sweeter fruitier hints amongst the evident cocoa scents. In regards to taste the flavours were slower to develop and the cocoa was a bit more steady with the taste amplifying as the melt progressed. The taste overall was not quite as strong as the Venezuelan bar had more of murkier dark coffee noted taste that was well established once the melt was in full flow. Noticeably the melt itself lacked the slight grit and grip on the tongue compared to the Rio Cabre and had a softer, smoother feel. One commonality that both bars did share was the lack of thought in the aftertaste. Just like the Rio Cabre the San Martin could also have done with a little X-factor to nicely round off the experience.

Overall I guess a preference between the two will largely be down to personal perceptions - in my case it was the Rio Cabre. The main reason for this was because I liked the way it was exerting in terms of its flavours straight away. The San Martin bar took a little too long 'getting to the point' with its flavours and the lack of texture in the melt meant that its flavours didn't last quite as long. As I have said this would all be down to personal preference and I wouldn't be surprised if most people preferred the smooth tasting and melting San Martin.

7.9 out of 10

Overall I would say Willie hasn't quite created the worlds best chocolate here but he has managed to create some fair standard dark chocolate nonetheless. If you were as intrigued as I was about the programme I would suggest you try these at some point as it was interesting to see what Willie was capable of producing. At the moment I would say Willie isn't quite there in terms of his chocolate ... but I am sure he is far from finished with his journey and his chocolate will most certainly get better with experience.