Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (75%)
Strain Nacional   
Source Peru   (Piura; Morropon)
Flavor Twang   
Style Rustic      
Hollywood & the false premise go hand-in-hand, a famously get-rich couple. Entertainment affords that. How else to explain that inception is far more difficult than extraction?

Crafting this near-stellar chocolate-extract & all that went into procuring it must've been a breeze for Rogue, no?. show more »
Appearance   5 / 5
excellent letterpress pouch
Color: though it casts a silver shadow, fairly dark for white seeds (a little rouge too)
Surface: time stands still with this clock-stopping beauty; immaculate complexion so undifferentiated even a magnifying glass loses focus
Temper: mirror mirror on the wall...
Snap: total diva
Aroma   8.9 / 10
multi-layered & manifold: slathers pure cocoa right up the nose, then plant stems (no leaves, just the tenderest stems) -> soft woods (no, softer woods... no, softest woods... Palo Santo / Holy Wood [the warm, sweet, delicate rose-airy type]) superseded by butter nuts, the oil for Rogue’s now-trademark billowing char-grille -> into a chocolate-dipped brazil nut; the bar firm-to-the-touch, even resistant on a rubdown (no cocoa butter added?) which produces some green-thumb (climbing vines); all-in-all serious business
Mouthfeel   13 / 15
Texture: midweight / medium body
Melt: very true
Flavor   44.3 / 50
quick attack on cocoa -> algarrobina (the syrup from black carob tree) blunts it back, then yields just as fast to a fruit ‘n brazil nut simulcast (raspberry jelly followed by mounting acidity of hibiscus, then pitanga) w/ underlying bitter (for a sweet n’ sour / bitter ‘n tart suspension)... the fight is on for supremacy... acids hold the edge until all lose out to umami (a savory wood chip incorporating brazil nut into that Palo Santo of the Aroma & its fruit [guaiac] / floral pattern) -> clears just a mite stringency to re-convey earlier fruits / flowers -> tonka bean the aftermath
Quality   18.7 / 20
Colin Gasko at Rogue credits Juan Tirado in Peru with meticulously harvesting Whites seeds &, apparently, rode them thru a good ferment (sweet tanging pulp), judging by the beans' ability to withstand Rogue’s convection roast. Moderate conching probably also accounts for sparing the high fruit quotient, as well as some surprising tannic bite for Whites.

Compared to Zotter’s insurrectionary Piura, this represents a whole other area of exclusivity. Those from a co-op pulling beans all over the region; these technically a 'seed-lot', the bounty of a single 7.5 acre grove, single harvest, single ferment / single drying cycle... in other words – singularity all the way around. Moreover, where Zotter’s bar feels downcast with none of the brilliance experienced here (Zotter's added butter [the 5% differential in his 80% bar] & salt obscure it further), this has uplift despite a parched nature due, in part, to the plains of Piura receiving only 1 inch annual rainfall (irrigation from the Andes provides the rest).

The combined forces intersect at that magic jam in mid-palate, a rare moment in chocolate of multiplicity & clarity - a thumbnail windowpane directly onto the landscape from where these beans grow – to harmonize perhaps just shy of ideal (the only shortcoming: baseline chocolate which opens this bar vanishes long gone by then).

Extremely pinpointed, highly personalized & optimally processed. From an origin far from the most endowed when it comes to soil & genotypes, Gasko & Tirado really sweat it out to earn all the points on this one & show that Piura can be more than just a northern armpit of Peruvian cocoa.

ING: cocoa mass, cane sugar

Reviewed Autumn 2010


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