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Gran Couva
November 1, 2006
8:23 pm
green
Trondheim, Norway
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Forum Posts: 103
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November 19, 2004
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I wanted to write a review on this bar (2006 vintage), but I think my palate only allows me to comment on it.

So, first of all, I have to say I really enjoyed it. I got it with the new Ampamakia in the connoisseur's club, and since ampamakia is one of my favourites, I guess my expectations were low (thinking Gran Couva cannot be as good...). But it surprized me, in a GOOD way!

Second, I must say what is described as orange or citrus in other reviews, I experinced as honey. Lots of honey (the hard kind, not the runny, fluid type). I almost thought I was eating Toblerone, with the sweet honey nougat. To me the flavours was a constant honey with other flavours like coffe, (jasmin)tea, toffe and milk comming and going. In the end I noticed some nuts, perhaps candied almonds.

Honey and candied almonds are both very sweet, and the bar is also very sweet, too sweet maybe, but the sweetness suited it IMHO.

Anyways, I just had to say something about this chocolate, because it was such a good experience to try it!

Anybody else have opinions on it?

November 1, 2006
10:04 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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Forum Posts: 178
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February 14, 2006
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Although I have not yet had the 2006 vintage, I can -- by my experiences with the 2005 vintage -- say that your descriptions remind me much of my own from the bar from last year.

I was especially surprised when you mentioned 'nougat', as that really struck me as being applicable to the 2005 vintage.

Gran Couva, in general, is all things sweet: honey, candied almonds, and shortbread.

Gran Couva is actually my fiancee's favourite bar next to Amedei's Porcelana. In fact, if you taste the two side by side, I think you might find that the two are somewhat similar; Porcelana being slightly less sweet and even more seamless.

Sean

January 31, 2007
5:36 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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February 14, 2006
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I just tried the 2006 vintage of this bar and was quite surprised with how Valrhona had managed to take many of the flavours in the 2005 vintage--honey, nougat, almonds, caramel, etc--and make them even more potent.

Of course, my personal opinion of this bar is that it is very sweet and all of that...but I also admire its *uniqueness* and unmistakable flavour. Definitely an easy bar to pick out in a blind tasting.

I urge everyone to give the 2006 vintage a try and attempt to overlook the overly sweet nature of the bar for the sake of appreciating some of the flavours which, in truth, are very unique.

Sean

February 1, 2007
10:52 am
green
Trondheim, Norway
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Forum Posts: 103
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November 19, 2004
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I agree, if you just accept that it is SWEET, it has some amazing flavours. And what I really like about all the Valrhona vintages, is that they have a bunch of very pronounced flavours.

Earlier this week I had a chocolate breakfast, where I sampled all six of Domoris crus, and the 2006 Ampamakia and Gran Couva in addition. As I tried more and more chocs, I noticed my palate got "tired", or that things started tasting more or less the same (that was expected), but when i got to the Valrhona ones, that really changed. In fact I think I've never really been able to detect flavours in that manner before! (And I've eaten those two bars MANY times!)

Off course the different percentages etc must play a role here, but I must say, Valrhona kind of climbs on my list of brands...

February 2, 2007
6:23 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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October 13, 2009
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quote:


Originally posted by green

...

Earlier this week I had a chocolate breakfast, where I sampled all six of Domoris crus, and the 2006 Ampamakia and Gran Couva in addition. As I tried more and more chocs, I noticed my palate got "tired", or that things started tasting more or less the same (that was expected), but when i got to the Valrhona ones, that really changed. In fact I think I've never really been able to detect flavours in that manner before! (And I've eaten those two bars MANY times!)

Off course the different percentages etc must play a role here, but I must say, Valrhona kind of climbs on my list of brands...


There could be another effect going on here - you're experiencing the dramatic difference in styles between 2 manufacturers. Trying the Domoris all together might be interesting, but after a while you're going to recognise the standard Domori "style" and sort of filter it out, so that the chocolate tastes less lively and interesting.

Now you shift to a new manufacturer - Valrhona, with a totally different style. All of a sudden there's new interest because you haven't been trying this particular style, and the palate once again comes alive. Since you only tried 2 Valrhonas, there wasn't enough for accustomisation to set in again.

The way to verify this would be to get a large range of Valrhona - say, at least 5 different bars, try all those first, and then shift to 1 or 2 Domoris. It would be interesting to see how that worked out.

How are you cleaning your palate between individual chocolates btw? FWIW, I recommend warm, very soupy hominy grits or polenta in a thick drinkable form.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
February 3, 2007
10:22 am
green
Trondheim, Norway
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November 19, 2004
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Good idea, Alex! Will do that some time [:)]

I believe you are quite right in your explanation, though all very different, the Domori bars have a lot in common. I assume the palate grows accustomed to tastes as easily as the nose does to scents.

Between chocolates I rinse with lukewarm water (and try to wait as long as I can between each, but I'm really to eager to wait more than a minute anyways...). I hear different recomendations like apples and bread, and now you say grits, but for dietary reasons I kind of never buy any food that high in carbs (except for chocolate of course).

Gran Couva | Fine chocolate bar discussion | Forum