Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC
Hapalua with Candied Nibs Dark Milk bar
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 173 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
The Hapalau* with Candied Nibs Dark Milk chocolate bar from Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC (Honolulu, Oahu, HI) had a lovely sweet, slightly floral green, chocolate aroma with light caramel notes—and an addictive flavor and texture combination.
I first tasted (Batch No. 1) of this especially nice dark milk Hapalua bar shortly after its debut in early 2016, while on a chocolate trip to Nicaragua. The chocolatemaker, Seneca Klassen, also happened to be on this trip and provided samples. (See Chocolate Banquet entry, Mar. 18, 2016.)
Why was this milk chocolate bar especially nice? I can think of at least three reasons.
First, this was a Hawaiian bar. The cacao and nibs (Haleiwa, Oahu), and the cane sugar from Maui, were "planted, grown and harvested in Hawaii." Lonohana Estate is unique, a vertically integrated, operation, producing farm to table chocolate in the U.S. (Hawaii is the only U.S. state where cacao is grown commercially.)
Second, the bar was masterfully made, with well balanced flavor and texture. It had a caramel flavor from the candied nibs/milk chocolate, and a texture that was both buttery smooth and crunchy. There was not one off note.
Last, but not least, the deep milk chocolate (% not listed, but likely around 50% cacao) offered more chocolate flavor than other lower percentage milk chocolate bars. And the nibs put the cocoa flavor over the top.
Sadly, this bar may be hard to obtain. Most Lonohana Estate bars are made in small batches, and are available through a tasting club or limited venues. Occasionally they have a few bars left for sale on their website.
Ingredients: "Estate cacao, organic cocoa butter, organic whole milk powder, Maui cane sugar and candied estate nibs"
*Hapalua means "half" in the Hawaiian language. Half the bar (one side) was covered with a thick field of nibs. And on the "smooth" side, was a map of the Hawaiian islands.