From what I can ascertain, this is the Chocolate Bar Formerly Known As Moho River. Those fine fellows at The Chocolate Society threatened me with samples of ‘some new Mast Brothers Bars’ at the end of last summer, but I’m guessing the rebranding coupled with the general chaos of Christmas meant that I didn’t see this until Christmas!
So, what do we know about the Belize bar? The country borders Guatemala and the organic beans are grown in a lush tropical area that was home to the Mayans by a cooperative, possibly the Toledo Cacao Growers Association who produce the cacao that goes into Green & Blacks’ Maya Gold bars. It’s a typical Mast Brothers Bar, with just two ingredients – the cacao and some cane sugar – which allows the full flavours of the cacao to come out. It’s all about the beans, and the tasting notes on the packaging tell me I’m in for ‘raisin, plum and sarsaparilla’.
First impressions were of deep, earthy cacao with red fruits and a lot of woody undertones. It’s certainly a bittersweet chocolate, but not in the 55% cacao European way! There’s a slight bitterness and good acidity, and as the chocolate melts these fruity notes give way to more earthy flavours, with the bittersweet element persisting throughout. The chocolate itself has a slightly grainy texture on the tongue, but this isn’t carried through when it melts.
Overall, it’s a big bundle of quite robust flavours, with the promised raisin being the most obvious. Other flavours I caught were cherry & wood but there wasn’t much in this bar that said ‘sarsaparilla’ to me. It doesn’t really offer much complexity but if you’re partial to bold, upfront bittersweet chocolate ten this is definitely worth tracking down.