Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (80% on the cusp of Semi-Dark; Batch #1)
Strain Porcelana   
Source Venezuela   (Zulia; El Chama)
Flavor Crossover   (Earthen x Spices/Herbs)
Style Neo-Modern      
Art has always been food for thought. Nowadays food is art, at least according to the Dallas Museum where nearby 72-oz steaks amount to mere hamburgers. Artist Stephen Lapthisophon's show -- Coffee, Seasonal Fruit, Root Vegetables, & Selected Poems -- examines with a microscope the materials of everyday life. Bascially Warhol 3.0.

Evidently that message gets to Rogue, now enmeshed in synesthesia, a veritable gallery of flavor & visuals on exhibit in this bar.

Rogue taps a fellow renegade for the jacket's graphics; 3-D geometry; cubist Toblerone (click image at right to enlarge). Then trumps Zotter's artist-in-residence by feeding customers a Mies Van Der Rohe maxim (God is in the details). While the Barsmith section of this website relies on the more conventional 'devil’s in the details' to account for the vagaries in chocolate-making -- which infers God presides over their apparent consistency for order amidst chaos -- this nod to meticulous detailing signals an ever emerging Rogue aesthetic. show more »
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: silver rouge
Surface: immaculate save for a monster release mark (molding / setting peccadillo)
Temper: beyond a mirror… self-absorbed lucite gel
Snap: almost criminal to break this beauty bar & it feels the same way -- resistant… hence, jagged break line
Aroma   8.3 / 10
pronounced nut skins
that loofa quinoa burger, plantain, & fenugreek in a rather unPorcelana guise
settles into more of this varietal's likeness with breaded folds (croissants / buttered crumbs)
add a speck of charcoal
Mouthfeel   11.1 / 15
Texture: shatter-glass foretold by its Snap… into hard wax
Melt: duralast
Flavor   44.3 / 50
herbaceous landscaping (dusky warty avocados tumbling over the Venzy llanos) framed in soft wood (bamboo) -> flour bathing in olive oil, the central subject, until out runs a nut pack (shells / skins / meats inclusive) -> drupe pit (mamey sapote) -> darkens into a heavier / harder wood (araguany & its quercetin bark) -> spot glutamate -> black truffle unto black stone -> closes on bitter apricot kernels
Quality   18 / 20
Not all cacáos are the same. Therefore, their percentages in finished chocolate should vary.

Finally a label that calibrates Porcelana at or near its correct pitch -- 80% (Pralus the prior heavyweight at 75%). Which puts to rest any arbitrary notions of a certain cacáo-content percentage representing some benchmark.

A while back the editor of the C-spot® encouraged the barsmith from Rogue during a keynote panel of a chocolate festival to offer an outlier bar at $25 per, as a sort of tine to addressing some of the macro socio-economic issues ailing the field which this site discusses at length on numerous occasions. Rogue demurred, saying the market "isn't ready for it". Well, at $18 a pop -- the price territory of Bonnat Xoconuzco & Éclat Good 'n Evil -- perhaps it's getting there. Chocomanes should be flattered to pay it for that valuates upward their obsession... in the memory bank if nowhere else because however quasi-auctionable / collectible the cost, this won't sit on the shelves or in the cupboard.

Only consumed.

If Balao heralded Rogue's newer style, Porcelana 80% confirms it. Though discrete they share a similar bend, a pneumatic quality. This more confined & constricted in a narrow slip, exemplified by that tightly-wound, high-strung Texture.

Rare interpretation: The Porcelain Eclipse… of blinding vision as the pall sets in. Nothing sumptuous. Hardly a peaches 'n cream affair. Unless in the Goth sense with mascara bleeding on the sweetheart-cum-vixen. The spot of darkness alluded to in Coppeneur's Porcelana envelopes fully here, practically pole-to-pole, as with Invictus, foreshadowing at first then overshadowing at last.

Cocoa nuts rolled out & stretched into chocolate liquor amount to a canvas for the Roguester's handiwork.

Austere... to the edge of severe.

Cerebral rather than visceral.

Rogue externalizing its inner-Domori. That Italian house underwent an additional shiver in tone with a shift in equipment starting with Guasare, a genetic & geographic cousin to this Porcelana. Ditto Rogue. Each attaches a certain cool to their radiance.

The refinements highly rarefied & pinpoint precise. Both countenance a regal reserve, a photoshopped polish that borders on the inanimate. Beautiful stasis, unmoved. The mannequin model viewed in too many layouts -- distant & at a remove -- & all the better for it due to its fragility that the slightest breath might crater. Shot in B&W of course, an ode to an André Kertész still life more than an Edward Weston or Ansel Adams.

Few shall dislike it; fewer still can love it. But its ultra qualitative finesse is undeniable.

Virtually perfect. Too perfect.

The Fork; André Kertész (1928)
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed January 16, 2014


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