Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Blend   
Flavor Crossover   
Style Classic      
A 9-bean 'mix-tech' blend paying tribute (unofficially) to Queen Eagle 9 (aka "Cocoa Flower"), mother of the Mixtec ruler 8 Deer Jag Paw. He the military victor of nearly 100 battles that forcefully “united” the Mixtec – close to the very cradle of cacáo domestication - before going on another murderous rampage to claim many members of his own family. For that, his surviving relatives turned on him with ritual sacrifice.

For all we know, Lady “Cocoa Flower” 9 might’ve been bitter & stringent, tart & acrid. Then again, maybe she lived up to her nickname. If so, a bar like she: fair & balanced.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
Color: natural earth-brown
Surface: strong front but with some air pockets
Temper: plastic-wrapper transfer contributes to semi-gloss
Snap: power tool; sanded edge
Aroma   9 / 10
giant powder keg: headwinds of cocoa dust run into green tea & galbanum, before slamming against hardwoods (oak, mahogany & blue cypress) -> humus all about the undergrowth -> spice flints set the fuse & light it up (vanilla, cinnamon & paprika) for green fruits (guanabana, mango skin, avocado, naranjilla, olive) then turquoise with the add’n of some blues (berries & grapes)
Mouthfeel   13.2 / 15
Texture: an edifice complex; expansive
Melt: among Guittard’s smoothest
Flavor   45.1 / 50
bangs in chocolate right off with undersided vanilla -> woods pound thru, furnishing depth... then the progression softens in a cunning counter of subtleties -> light tart (the naranjillo from the aromatics, strengthens slightly to mango) -> merges these layers of flavors amid growing cocoa butter expansion to gossamer lavender & sassafras (very Fougère or opoponax) -> toasted almond-cocoa close
Quality   17.8 / 20
Experience on display. Gary Guittard & his agents go all the way around the equator for this mix-bar... everywhere but Africa.

Any mention of a 9-bean blend & Amedei’s ‘9’ naturally springs to mind but while both this & that treat each bean source to a custom roast profile & share an almond-inflected finish, similarities diverge from there. This features less magnitude, more classic restraint compared to Amedei’s bountiful if haphazardly-built ‘9’. The core cocoa constancy here teases of Bernachon’s Super Amer, especially in their embrace of vanilla, though, again, Guittard exercises yet more formal control than usual & just waves the bottle over it – enough, however, to obscure some clarity.

All of which positions Complexité at the midpoint between those 2 in line with another French house blend: Valrhona... for a Guanaja-lite likeness.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla

Reviewed January 2011


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