Valrhona Guanaja 70%

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Valrhona has our hearts lately. In part because of their superb chocolate, but also in friendship. Social media has an amazing way of creating friendships that could have never been discovered otherwise. We are grateful to them for their support of Cacao Review and promoting us to their 115K fans!
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Guanaja was named after the now-famous Caribbean island where Christopher Columbus landed in 1502. It is the first in Valrhona’s Mariages de Grand Crus collection and has garnered a reputation as the iconic Valrhona chocolate. 2016 has been all about the celebration of “30 Years of Guanaja” so we thought it fitting to review before the new year. I find it bewildering that this chocolate is almost as old as I am - I had no idea! I wonder how the flavor has evolved over the years and would love to hear from those who have experienced it.

This complex chocolate is made from a blend of Criollo and Trinitario cacao from up to 10 different sources. Its long roast brings out strong undertones of coffee and reminds me of the french roast from Crio Bru. It is acidic and bitter with an ever so slight taste of red fruit. Initially, I find a distinction of sweet honey that quickly evolves to a more compelling dark molasses. It is a perfect bar for coffee lovers or for those that have a fondness for darker chocolate. It could definitely pass as more than 70% cacao.

The beauty and sophistication of this bar called for well-thought-out photos. So I made truffles and adorned them in gold to match Valrhona’s beautiful foil logo. We love the way it turned out.

Emily Koons