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Firetree 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate Review

Disclosure: Firetree kindly sent me a 65g Guadalcanal Solomon Islands dark chocolate bar free of charge for the purposes of a review. Firetree had no influence over the content on this page. My opinions are my own. This article may contain affiliate links (identified by a ° symbol). These financially support this website - and our chocolate research - at no extra cost to you. Find out more.

Earlier this year, I had my first taste of volcanic chocolate. The tasting was a multi-sensory experience, and I was hugely impressed by the complex depth of flavour and the presentation of this chocolate bar.

Keen to show me the stark differences between their different cocoa origins, the team kindly sent me a different bar, this time using beans from the Solomon Islands.

Tapping open my trusted map app, I discovered Guadalcanal is a large island covered with dense rainforest to the east of Papua New Guinea and to the north east of Australia. It sits 697 nautical miles north west of Vanuatu, the source of the beans used in my first taste of volcanic chocolate. So, does cocoa from the Solomon Islands exhibit similar characteristics to that of Melanesia? Will this bar be as exciting to taste as my last one?


Packaging

The Firetree packaging used on this bar follows the same successful template as the Vanuatu bar. Sleek, silver-foiled packaging might be a photographer's nightmare but it oozes sophistication. If this was a Christmas present from a friend, I certainly wouldn't be disappointed.

Firetree 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate Review
Sleek Firetree packaging

Unlike the Vanuatu bar with its colour palate of reds, whites, and yellows, this Solomon Islands bar packaging features darker hues of red and purple.

On the rear, there's plenty of silver-foiled text to give you a good insight into what to expect from this bar. It begins with tasting notes explaining that this bar should exhibit notes of red fruit, citrus, plum, and cocoa. There's also an introduction to Firetree and to Guadalcanal, with details that the cacao trees, grown in rich volcanic soil, are shaded by coconut palms on a family farm.

Beneath this is the nutritional information and ingredients list.

Firetree 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate bar ingredients:
Cocoa mass, unrefined sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin). Cocoa solids: 69% minimum.

This vegan-friendly chocolate bar consists of 32% sugars. It's dairy-free and made in a no-nuts factory. It's suitable for Halal and Kosher diets.

Fresh off the production line, this particular bar had a lengthy best before that stretched 18 months into the future. While it's unlikely you could stretch it out to last that long, there's comfort in knowing you can savour this bar at will.


Firetree 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate Review

Inside the card pouch, this chocolate bar arrived sealed inside a plastic lined paper packet, oozing almost as much class as the outer packaging.

Tearing it open revealed inviting chocolate aromas, rich with notes of red fruit at the forefront. There was a mild smokiness that sat closely behind, with a helping of woody notes too. Whereas the Vanuatu bar had a savoury quality to its aroma, the scent of this Guadalcanal bar was much sweeter and more akin to a dark milk chocolate bar.

Firetree 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate Bar
A 10-segment dark chocolate bar

The bar followed the sleek lines of the distinctive undulating mould used by Firetree, forming 10 generous segments. A clean and crisp snap provided the melody as I segmented my bar up, although I opted to snap each segment in two, making 20 bite-size pieces in total.

Firetree 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate Bar Pieces
Close-up of the 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate

The sweetness released itself immediately on tasting, rapidly followed by the smokey, rich cocoa notes as a baseline. On top of this, plenty of fruity notes developed, with plum, raisin, and tart berry notes developing alongside a captivating creaminess. This layered tasting is calm, methodical, and soothing.

The aftertaste was sweet, as the creaminess jostled with the bitterness to create a final mellow cocoa flavour, spiked with red berries.

The Guadalcanal bar was a completely different tasting experience to the Vanuatu bar, and a superb demonstration of why you need to plan your own chocolate tasting journey, meandering through the finest volcanic regions of the world courtesy of Firetree.

Firetree 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate Review

RRP: £7.00 | Firetree | Shop now

This dark chocolate has everything I want to taste in a bar. It's sweet enough to tame any hint of bitterness, it's fruity and characterful, yet orderly and methodical in its distribution of flavour notes. It has a lovely clean finish that leaves you wanting more. Wrap all that up in sublime packaging and you've got yourself a winner in my view.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 5

Where to Buy Online

The 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands Dark Chocolate bar is available to purchase directly on the Firetree website here (£7). It's also available as a twin pack on Amazon here°.

In addition, you might want to consider comparing this against a 75% dark chocolate bar made using beans from neighbouring Makira Island (£7). If you want the very purest of experiences, there's an intense 100% dark chocolate bar made using Guadalcanal cocoa beans too (£7). The 100% bar is also available as a twin pack on Amazon here°. If you're keen on trying all these bars, the Solomon Islands Set features all three bars for £18, instead of £21.

If you know somebody who would enjoy these for Christmas (or want to drop hints), check out Firetree's 7 Bar Gift Box, available direct (£45) or on Amazon here°. It simply screams 'birthday gift' or 'Christmas present', and looks fabulous. Also be sure to check out their subscription box service too, if you fancy receiving characterful volcanic chocolate on tap.

Have you tried this bar of Firetree chocolate? What did you think of its flavours? Let me know in the comments below.

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