Chocolate Tasting Notes

At Lydgate Farms, we pride ourselves in the art of making quality craft chocolate each step of the way. Much like the world of wine, a fine chocolate has subtle layers of flavors dependent on the variety, soil, sunshine and fermentation process. We’ve worked years to perfect our fermentation process to create a unique chocolate with an outstanding taste you can only find from the unique set of factors found on Kauai’s Garden Isle.

Each harvest has a slightly different flavor experience that changes with the growing  conditions and fermentations of the season. With this in mind, we have worked with experts in the fine chocolate world to sample our beans and bars and detail the tasting experience you’ll find in each seasons harvest. We’ve also included pairing recommendations, so you can grab a bottle of wine to sip and savor our fine Kaua’i chocolate bite-by-bite.

Spring 2019 – 70% Dark 

Type: Classic Dark Chocolate
Vintage: January-March 2019
Single Estate: Lydgate Farms
Designation: Single Origin – Olohena, Kapaa, Kauai – Hawaii

Tasting Notes:
Fleeting, light, bright fruity tones with a tinge of apricot on the start. The middle expands to a fuller, buttery orange cream, and moves to an off-dry nut butter on the finish. Taste young to enjoy the fruit tones. Aging more than 3 months will cause the chocolate to become nuttier as it off-gases acidity.

Pair With: Buttery Chardonnay, California
Why? – This would be a “like” pairing. The light, floral fruity tones of the chocolate would be overpowered by a red. The buttery mouthfeel of a Chardonnay would match the creamy mouthful of the smooth, mild, dark chocolate and highlight the fruit in the chocolate, which is what makes this bar unique.

Spring 2019 – 70% Dark Chocolate with Palm Blossom Honey 

Type: Dark Chocolate with Inclusion
Vintage: January-March 2019
Single Estate: Lydgate Farms
Designation: Single Origin – Olohena, Kapaa, Kauai – Hawaii

Tasting Notes: The additional honey added to this bar creates a paradox: while the honey makes the chocolate taste sweeter overall, it brings out deeper tones in the dark chocolate making it feel heavier. There are darker dried fruit tones than it’s plain dark chocolate counterpart from the same vintage. Hints of fig, raisins, and spices show in the middle, while the sweet underbelly of the honey-tones present candied walnuts on the finish. Think baklava.

Pair With: Pedro Ximénez
Why? – This would be a “like” pairing. The honey tones of the wine would match the honey tones in the chocolate. Both the chocolate and this Spanish dessert grape have heavy mouthfeels that can stand and sing together without overpowering one over the other.

Spring 2019 – 70% Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Bean

Type: Dark Chocolate with Inclusion
Vintage: January-March 2019
Single Estate: Lydgate Farms
Designation: Single Origin – Olohena, Kapaa, Kauai – Hawaii

Tasting Notes: This vanilla-packed dark chocolate has a round mouthfeel making it seem like a creamy milk chocolate although it has no dairy. The vanilla in the chocolate creates a Graham cracker spice effect in the beginning, with a vanilla bouquet that expands in the middle, balanced by off-dry woody notes on the finish.

Pair With: Any classic American Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot aged in oak.
Why? This would be a “like” pairing. Classic jammy red wines aged in oaks often produce a vanilla tone in the wine. This gives the wine a soft full round mouthfeel which is the same effect the vanilla has on the chocolate.

Spring 2019 – 70% Dark Chocolate with Hawaiian Salt

Type: Dark Chocolate with Inclusion
Vintage: January-March 2019
Single Estate: Lydgate Farms
Designation: Single Origin – Olohena, Kapaa, Kauai – Hawaii

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.

Spring 2019 – 50% Milk Chocolate

Type: Dark Milk Chocolate
Vintage: January-March 2019

Single Estate: Lydgate Farms
Designation: Single Origin – Olohena, Kapaa, Kauai – Hawaii

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.


Spring 2019 – 50% Milk Chocolate with Coffee & Cacao Nibs Tasting Notes

Vintage: January-March 2019
Type: Dark Milk Chocolate with Inclusions
Single Estate: Lydgate Farms
Designation: Single Origin – Olohena, Kapaa, Kauai – Hawaii

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