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Whittaker makes dark chocolate like a dark block that has 47% chocolate content. It's from New Zealand. This is New Zealand chocolate and we go into it all at the chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic

Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Whittaker's Dark Block

     
Whittaker's Dark Block  
Posted: 4 October 2010  Doug's Chocolate Republic  6.5 
Whittaker Dark Block There's nothing wrong with Whittaker's bittersweet Dark Block. It's very good, but it's not superb. You wouldn't contact your buddies in New Zealand or Australia to ship you out boxfuls of the stuff. A dark chocolate of similar percentage closer to home would do the job just as well.
Avg price/gram: USD 0.018   Cocoa %: 47  Size: 250g  New Zealand chocolate 
       


Whittaker's peace offering to the masses, mostly in New Zealand, are their bars made with creamy milk chocolate, 33% cocoa content. Milk chocolate is what Joe Average wants, milk chocolate is what he's going to get.  But Whittaker's wants a piece of that high palate market, too.  The trend over the last twenty years has been a preference for darker and darker chocolate.  Whittaker's Dark block, at 47% cocoa solids, is the company's lowest content dark bar.  They also offer a 62% and a 72%. 

My personal preference is with dark chocolate, the darker the better.  In my chocolate tasting extravaganzas, I've discovered that few companies can pull off a complete range of brilliance.  Green & Black's, for example, has what I feel is a really average Milk.  It's their 70% and 85% which shine like the morning sun.   Whittaker's faces the opposite problem, both to G & B's and to Michael Jackson.  The lighter Whittaker's goes, the better they seem.  Their creamy milk or just regular milk offerings, clustering around that 33% base, particularly with nuts, are as good as they get. The darker they go, the more cracks you start to spot.

You see, there's a lot more a chocolate manufacturer can play with in the milk chocolate department. Milk chocolate is, after all, cheaper chocolate with less cacao content.  And with milk chocolate still being the biggest segment of the chocolate market, the competition for superb milks is more intense.   Darker chocolates are harder to get right.  The chocolate taste becomes more bitter the more cacao you add, and manufacturers have to devise a way to work with or around the bitterness.  Many aren't very successful, and they create either a bad-tasting dark or a generic tasting one.

There's nothing wrong with Whittaker's bittersweet Dark Block.  It's very good, and it's priced right and represents a better deal per gram than a Swiss or Belgian import and better quality and value than mainstream Australian chocolate.   But it's not superb.  You wouldn't contact your buddies in New Zealand or Australia to ship you out boxfuls of the stuff.  A dark chocolate of similar cocoa percentage closer to home would do the job just as well.  I can't recall this bar having any distinctive bouquet or essences or unique spices that would set it apart from other bittersweet bars crowding the market.

Verdict:  if you're living in Australia or New Zealand and spot this bar at a supermarket, don't shun it.  At the same time, I wouldn't rush toward it as if it were a long lost lover.          

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  Whittaker makes dark chocolate like a dark block that has 47% chocolate content. It's from New Zealand. This is New Zealand chocolate and we go into it all at the chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic