50 States: Kentucky – Cellar Door Chocolates

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The ONLY chocolate maker in Kentucky is Cellar Door Chocolates, and though they’ve been there since 2007, they began as a confectionary shop. Their bean-to-bar line is very new and at the time of my writing this post, those bars aren’t available for ordering online yet. Thank you to Tara from Cellar Door who through a phone call helped me place an order for a couple of their bean-to-bar chocolate!

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I originally ordered two of what I thought were their bean-to-bar products, but maybe these bars were only released for a short time and might have been a test batch as most of their single origin bars are listed as sold out on their website and Tara told me they had their brand new bean-to-bar line coming out.

While speaking with Tara, she informed me that Cellar Door is hoping to host the first ever chocolate festival in their part of our country! It will take place in October if all goes well. They plan on featuring local coffee shops/roasters and local chocolatiers. Wish them luck and attend the festival if you are able to!

What’s neat is that since Cellar Door is in Kentucky, they get to be involved in the festivities that surround the Derby. We’re past that time now, but you can read an article about Cellar Door’s partnership with a local artist for the packaging of their chocolates this year in celebration of the event. You can also browse Derby themed chocolates by Cellar Door here.

Along with my order of these bars, I also added their 16 piece bourbon ball Museum Box as a surprise gift for my boyfriend, which you could order online here. I ended up later making a second order for a friend who’s originally from Kentucky and also enjoys bourbon truffles.

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I’ll go over their most recent bean-to-bar products that I ordered first. I was informed by Tara that these bars are all made up of blend of cacao from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. What makes the bars different from each other are the cocoa percentages: 55%, 60%, 65%, 75%, 80% and 90%. For trying these out for the first time, I stuck within my comfort range and bought the 65% and 75% bars.

Cellar Door was very kind to wait to mail my package until they received dry ice to ship with their products. Sadly, the chocolate did not hold up because a heat wave happened to hit my area and the chocolate took a beating. Thanks to Cellar Door for making the effort, though!

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The 75% bar smelled earthy and astringent. The flavor was also earthy, though not as strongly as it smelled. Mellow astringency kicked in as my bite melted. I ended up having to “chomp” on this bar since it was taking a while to melt on my tongue. Strong nutty flavors developed toward the end and their flavor reminded me of roasted almonds.

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Despite my best efforts, I was not able to get all of the foil wrapping out of this bar. It was very brittle when broken apart due to the bad blooming, but I’m thinking I’ll save this bar by smashing it up and sprinkling it on top of gelato. This 65% bar had a subtle cocoa and sweet scent. It was a little tart, chocolatey, fruity and had a touch of creaminess.

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I’m intrigued why the most recent bean-to-bar line includes sunflower lecithin but these bars either have no lecithin or soy lecithin.

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The Fortunato Number 4 bar and the Kokoleka Hawaiian bars looked like bricks! They were hard to break apart because of their density.

The Fortunato bar had a bright fruity scent and flavor. The fruitiness turned into a strong nutty flavor and a touch of astringency developed toward the end. I liked the smooth texture!

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The description for the Kokoleka Hawaiian 55% bar on Cellar Door’s website was, “Refreshing and smooth like a fruit smoothie. It’s wild fruitiness is tamed by the intense creaminess of the milk.” I could see creamy swirls on the outside of the bar. It had a strong creamy and light fruity scent. I tasted chocolatey and creamy flavors, like a chocolate milkshake. It wasn’t until the end of my bite that I tasted light fruity flavors.

Hopefully when cooler weather returns I can revisit Cellar Door’s chocolate. Maybe by then we’ll have word about how their first chocolate festival went and their new bean-to-bar line will be further established!

Cellar Door Chocolates: Made in Louisville, KY

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.


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