Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Potomac Chocolate: Upala 70% Cocoa Nib Bar

After finally writing up my review of my beloved Potomac Chocolate 82% Cocoa Upala Bar, I was feeling like a pretty subpar chocolate blogger. I’ve consumed at least a dozen of those bars since they became available for sale at Biagio earlier this year. I have this bar on my packing list for business trips – in fact, one bar is sitting in my Idaho Falls hotel room right now. Yet it took me until yesterday to write about it? Inexcusable.

Then I remembered the Potomac Chocolate 70% Cocoa Upala Nib Bar. Yet another unreviewed bar from a most outstanding bean-to-bar chocolate maker just a few miles from where I live.

Unreviewed no more, for today, I bring you an analysis of the Potomac Chocolate 70% Cocoa Upala Nib Bar.

Before I start, it’s worth noting that I’m generally not drawn to bars with cocoa nibs in them, as the nibs are often boulder-sized, leaving bitter, dry chunks of nibs after the chocolate melts away. But in the name of research, I checked out this bar.

Fortunately, the nibs were quite nicely ground, and the bar is generally uniform in composition. No big chunks of nibs or nib-less bits of chocolate. Just everything together.

The chocolate itself, like the Potomac Chocolate 70% Cocoa Upala bar, carries a strong coffee flavor with a cherry undertone, and the nibby bar doesn’t appear to be any more bitter than the plain 70% Upala bar. The bar is just a bit dry, which may be due to the inclusion of the nibs, but the texture of the bar is generally smooth without any grit. While I haven’t included this bar in my go-to stock of Potomac Chocolate bars – the plain 70% and 82% have that market firmly cornered – I enjoyed this bar and would recommended it to anybody looking for a bar with nibs.

Of course, if I were a better chocolate blogger, I’d have given that recommendation some three months ago.

Do you like bars with cocoa nibs in them?


  1. Thanks for the review!

    Is this a somewhat older bar? I ask because it has a ton of nibs. In more recent batches, I've reduced the amount of nibs to make it a better balance between chocolate and nib.

  2. @Ben It's probably from early January - definitely before February. Maybe I need to do a re-review :).

  3. This looks as good as yesterday's 82%. And it also looks as good or better than my most recent nibby bars, Garrison Confections Blueberry Nibs, and Scharffen Berger Nibby.

  4. Love love love love bars with nibs in them. I adore the seriosu bitter roasted punch of the blighters :)

  5. I've never had bars with nibs in them...in fact when I saw the picture my first thought was "oh god there's something wrong with that chocolate!" I am intrigued; I think I may have to find one and try it out!

  6. Hmm...this has got me thinking. I made a big batch of cold-brewed coffee with chicory yesterday. Now I'm wondering how cocoa nibs would fair in the mix. Maybe I'll include some in a smaller batch next time...for research.