As those of you who read this site know, bean to bar chocolatiers are proliferating like yeast bubbles in injera.
Mana Chocolate, in Portland, Oregon, does all their sorting, roasting, cracking, winnowing, conching, tempering, molding, and wrapping. And they do it to perfection. I sampled the 74% Conacado from the Dominican Republic. A beautifully tempered, shiny, two ounce slab that is one of the most well-rounded chocolates I have tasted. Holly Hukill, the mastermind behind this balanced bar, cites flavor notes of caramel, malt, cherry, and cashew. I might add a very slight earthy tanginess that brings extra complexity and interest. The dryish finish is a great counterpoint to the creamy, rich texture.