Guittard’s bid - & a strong one – for pure center-point chocolate.
Named after the famed plumed serpent of Mexìcâ (Aztec) mythology, originally a god of earth & vegetation, later morphed into the Morning Star (Venus) who, according to Internet legend, as Gardener of Paradise brought the theobroma cacáo tree from heaven to, with apologies to the Hebrews, his chosen people. Like his coeval of sorts, Eve, biting into the apple & breaking the fast of her innocence, he takes a break here from flying off in all directions & just hangs out, similar to another Mesoamerican creature – Ahuizotl (namesake of the great Pre-Columbian emperor), a half-dog/half-monkey with hands on its tail (think Aipom from Pokemon), as this bar just wags & grabs taste-buds all over the place with straight chocolate flavor.
Appearance 4 / 5
|Surface:||slick front; scaly underbelly|
|Temper:||spit-shine (runs flat... out back)|
|Snap:||hiss of a rattlesnake against granite edge|
Aroma 7.4 / 10
low lying, narrow & focused: dessicated cocoa & coconut covered in palm & banana leaf; (dried red fruit curdles underneath)
Mouthfeel 11.6 / 15
|Texture:||fractured; clumps up|
|Melt:||languishes; slight astringency at finish|
Flavor 46.6 / 50
snake eyes of the aroma peer right thru to the taste: cocoa & coconut run the entire length of the baseboard -> black & red pepper replete w/ low heat rising (illusion or mystic trick?) -> light spice (coriander, cardamom, anise) -> background banana custard (suiting texture) & marshmallow -> lone red star apparition (jujube) -> oaken vanilla + coconut shell (which cross tracks w/ earlier spices for cedar) -> backs out chocolate
Quality 17.9 / 20
Simple & docile, though perhaps the most amplified chocolarity (pure naked chocolate flavor) in the 70% class, achieved in part by no added cacáo butter. Tastes a little too manufactured, especially when vanilla rises up, & lacks sublime roundness of Lindt, Cluizel, & Domori’s cracks at center-point chocolate (again, for reasons of butter). But to Guittard’s credit, the real reference is not some overwrought comparisons to another chocolate maker(s), but to itself; specifically, its chef’s-special 61% Semisweet stalwart – here, less a soda pop fizz & more chocolate weight & mass, built on a foundation of West African beans with elements of Chucuri & maybe Ambanja, then roasted over a low but steady fire. A no-nonsense straight shot - right between the cross-hairs.