Another new US bean-to-bar maker has released products. Minneapolis-based Colin Gasko of [url="http://www.roguechocolatier.com/"]Rogue Chocolatier[/url] currently has two bars out (Venezuela and Madagascar, both 70%). For some background on Gasko, see [url="http://articles.citypages.com/2007-12-19/restaurants/the-smallest-chocolate-factory-in-the-world/"]this article[/url]. (The article's author amusingly describes the Ocumare bar as, having "notes of walnut, aged peat-smoked whiskey, sourdough toast, bacon, blackberry, and currant liqueur." Mmm, mmm.)
The bars are nicely tempered, molded without scoring (ala Domori), sealed in plastic, then enfolded in attractively printed paper packaging.
I recently visited the Rogue factory and have just written an article about it for my chocolate blog, with my reviews of the two bars.
January 1, 2007
I had their Rio Caribe, their newest bar, today for the first time. It's very good, imo. This very much reminded me of Domori in its flavor profile. I thought it started off like pink grapefruit -- like a sweeter grapefruit mixed with dried cherry or cranberry -- then quickly turned to an intense nuttiness followed by a mild coffee finish.
I think these guys have the best packaging in the biz right now, too.
I just heard about this manufacturer. How long has he been manufacturing for now before he came out with his first bars? How is the texture and melt on his/her bars?
Have a great day,
Some Chocolate Guy
I spoke with Colin for awhile the other day to give him feedback on his three bars. He is still playing with the alchemy, so Nicholas, when you talk about the flavors you got in his Rio Caribe, it is a little off from what I got. But like I said he is still playing with the bars, and I wish I got to taste the batch you did, it sounds a lot better.
If you were to compare bars, Rogue is like Domori as Amano is to Amedei. The fun flavors that bounce around in the rogue bars were exciting. The red licorice in his Hispaniola is exciting and the rum raisin was fun in his Sambirano. The Rio Caribe was nutty with a coffee finish and the least exciting of the three for me and most the people who tasted it. Nicholas, I did like the packaging as well. If you ever come down to Ashland Oregon, stop by my shop to say hi.
My only concerns:
The ending on all three were very short on the pallet and the minimum order, per bar was $100 for the case. I wanted to carry two of his bars, but could only afford one. I think chocolate artists like Colin (who was a really great guy on the phone) need to hire a marketing person, because a 24 bar minimum one flavor seems a little crazy in times like these. 60 gram bar for that much money is asking a lot when I can get Cluizel, Domori and Amedei for the same price.
Over all, good hard working guy, fun flavor chocolate that bounces around and is good, but I think minimum is too high for wholesale buyers and the price per bar a little high too. Keep up the great work Colin!
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