In the most basic sense, dark chocolate is made by further grinding and liquefying the nibs through heat and mixing them with varying amounts of sugar. Every single step of To'ak's production process is aimed at expressing the unique flavor profile of the terroir and variety of the cacao beans we have the privilege of working with. Dark chocolate and wine are both rich with tannins and other polyphenols. These compounds, also called flavonoids, largely determine what we taste in a wine or dark chocolate and how it feels in our mouth. Over time, these compounds are chemically altered through processes such as oxidation. There is also the matter of applying barrels or other aging vessels in combination with time. Extractable compounds from oak barrels and other storage vessels add another layer of complexity through the process of aging. As we’ve learned from whisky makers, about 70% of the flavor of a well-aged whisky is derived from the barrel in which it was aged. Extractable flavor compounds in the barrel are what give the whisky its defining features. As dark chocolate matures with age, its flavor profile evolves.