Another grey and dull sunday morning. After several days of sunny weather, my mood needs to be lifted up. What better way than to check this bar by Roque Chocolatier I received from a fellow chocolate enthusiast?
Rogue is a small-batch artisan chocolate maker from Three Rivers, Massachusetts – USA. If you are into the chocolate scene, you will know the American artisan chocolatier put out some amazing bars and clearly know how things need to be done. From selecting beans, cleaning, roasting, grinding, winnowing, refining, conching, molding over to packing, these guys do it all by themselves. Giving them maximum control over the final product.
These people have my up most respect as they choose to do things the hard way.
First thing I noticed is how Rogue shines in minimalism. The package of the bar is a light blue cardboard sleeve, decorated with a stylish cacao drawing, reminding me of those old Herbarium books from the time photo’s simply didn’t exist. It states the origin, percentage and on the back some of the tasting notes to be expected.
Inside a cellophane wrapper snuggled the bar and keeps it safe. Well, moderately safe, as it didn’t end its trans-atlantic voyage in one piece. But that won’t interfere with the taste, luckily.
While I couldn’t find any info on the Rogue website about the origin and the sleeve doesn’t offer any extra info, some research learned me this would be made of Trinitario beans from a remote area in Venezuela, the Paria Peninsula and it would be the only Rio Caribe origin bar to be produced. I don’t think Rogue still has them available at this point, according to the bars mentioned on their site.
The bar itself takes the minimalistic approach even further. It is what it is. A bar. A nice rectangular bar of chocolate, perfect thickness and no logo’s ,drawing or scoring. Just a smooth dark brown surface. Due to the voyage my bar made and the breaking, my example is covered with specs and dots, but I hardly can believe this would be the case in a better preserved one.
Bean: Trinitatrio (according internet source)
Origin: Rio Caribe – Venezuela
Production: Rogue Chocolatier – Three Rivers, Massachusetts, USA
Price: unknown – this bar was a gift, but I expect it to be around € 10 for 60 g
Color: A very deep and dark brown, I hardly could believe this is “just” a 70% bar and not a lot higher.
Aroma: Slightly acidic with a base tone of warm spices, cacao and a touch of orange – I really like that last one.
Taste: A sweet yet slightly dry start. Puzzling, as once more it acts like a higher percentage bar. Powerful coffee and cacao tones roll in before gentle fruits arises, combined with delicate orange flower tones. Volatile but very noticeable. Vanilla gives extra warmth to the aroma. The melt is good, yet perhaps a bit buttery without being clingy. The gentle, and flavorful aroma gives way to an aftertaste dominated by soothing chocolate and a touch of nutty, spicy notes combined with a very gentle bitterness.
A very pleasing bar with a warm, dark heart that won’t offend anyone and might be a perfect place to start enjoying origin chocolate. While other bars may throw more aroma changes at you, this one stays true to the taste it sets on the palate from the start. Though it is undeniable a quality chocolate bar, I like my taste profile a little bolder.