Chocolate Tasting Notes and Pairings

Tasting Notes and Pairings

Prepared by Tamara Butterbaugh, of Manoa Chocolate


70% DARK - Single Estate - Lydgate Farms 

Vintage: Fall 2019 

Tasting Notes: 

Silken fudge. This bar has richness and depth. Hazelnut praline character. Sweet, smashed roasted nuts in the middle with hints of tobacco flower on the finish. This chocolate bar’s texture is full of structure and base, and it enrobes the palate with a coat of velvet when it opens up. 

Pair With -

Wine:  Big, full bodied spicy red wine. I’m craving Malbec from Argentina. 

Beer: Nitro and milk stouts to match the creamy, full mouthfeel and base tones in the chocolate. 


70% Dark Chocolate with Palm Blossom Honey 

Vintage: Fall 2019

Tasting Notes: 

Wow! The Palm Blossom honey is supersweet on the tip of the tongue, but is balanced by a distinct and pleasant nuttiness on the middle palette that compliments the nutty character of the chocolate. The honey contains hints of cloves and cardamom in its wake, which linger forever beautifully on the finish.

Pair With - 

Wine - Elegant white wines with honey tones like Chenin Blanc, or a honey-tones dessert wines like Madeira. 

Beer - Refreshing Belgian white ales. Aka Witbiers such as Hoegaarden Blanche. These beers usually have hints of cloves and spices - yum! 


70% Dark Chocolate with Hawaiian Sea Salt

Tasting Notes: This refreshing bar hits you with salt on the tip of the tongue. The salt accentuates the fruity tones of the dark chocolate making it seem more sharp. The result is a bright burst of flavor in the beginning with a pleasant, dry, staccato finish.

Pair With: Sparkling’s; sweet or dry. Ciders, Saisons, Sours, and Farmhouse Ales.

50% Milk Chocolate

Tasting Notes: This heavy dark milk chocolate is reminiscent of sweetened condensed milk and browned butter meets toasted cashew nuts. It has a savory, cheesy character with a velvety, intense, mouthfeel that is richer than your typical flat, sweet milk chocolate.

Pair With: Cava Brut and other dry Sparkling’s like Prosecco & Champagne
Why? – This would be an “opposite” pairing. The heavy mouthfeel of the rich dark milk chocolate is balanced by effervescent dry bubbles, lightening the load off the tip of the tongue.

50% Milk Chocolate with Coffee & Cacao Nibs 

Tasting Notes: This bar boasts a rich, creamy, intense mouthfeel marked by mocha throughout. It moves from fudgy heavy whipping cream to bursts of crunchy roasted cacao nibs in the middle, with a lingering strong coffee finish.

Pair With: California Cabs aged in Oak, Baileys Irish Cream, Milk Stouts