The difference in brief
Our Harvest editions are harvested from a specific appellation during a specific year (similar to wine), with the objective to highlight the unique flavor and aroma characteristics that are created by the unique soil and climate conditions of that particular harvest (i.e., “terroir”).
Our Aged editions are Harvest editions that have been aged in some kind of aromatic vessel (eg, casks that formerly stored wine or spirits, or Ecuadorian wood vessels) or have been aged in the same container as some other aromatic material (eg, Kampot pepper or Palo Santo wood).
A little more detail on the differences
Our Harvest editions express the unique climatic and growing conditions of each particular harvest year. It's quite amazing to taste totally different chocolate made from cacao that is harvested from exactly the same trees each year. What we can taste are the unique changes in sunshine, rainfall, and factors such as soil nutrients that evolve over time. In the world of wine this is referred to as terroir. We consider our Harvest editions to be terroir-driven expressions of dark chocolate.
Our Aged editions, make up our most innovative collection, where we attempt to push the boundaries of what is possible with chocolate flavor development. The concept was born out of our admiration for whisky and wine production techniques. Approximately 70% of the aroma and flavour in a whisky comes from the cask that it is aged in. Our Aged editions demonstrate the flavour progression of chocolate over time and how this can be enhanced with extractable aromas from barrels and other mediums. We developed this technique with some assistance from the oenology team at Washington State University. Their team predict that we can age our chocolate (thanks to the antioxidants, tanins and lack of perishable ingredients) for upwards of 20 years. You can read more on this blog article about our aging program.
Review our FAQ on How and why do you age your chocolate?
In summary, the main differences are as follows. Our Harvest editions are bold, terrior-driven, expressions of the valley where we harvest our cacao and they are emblematic of the very special Ecuadorian Nacional cacao variety. They are typically highly complex in aroma and flavour. Our Aged editions have softened with the benefit of age (much like a fine wine). The flavor peaks and troughs are less pronounced and depending on the cask or specialty aroma with which the chocolate was aged you will experience a subtle yet completely integrated marriage between the chocolate and the complientary aroma. It's something you need to try to fully appreciate.
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