Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review: Rogue Sambirano

Richard's Rating: 9.0
chocolate makerRogue
cacao treesCriollo
size60g ~ 2.1oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$7.99

colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1317
Bitter Chocolate
appearancesmooth, glossy, uneven sheen, adhered bits
aromafruit (prune), roast (hint of coffee), earth, wood (cedar)
tastefruit (citrus, orange, lime, raisin, cherry), roast
Colin Gasko reformulated Sambirano since we last reviewed it over two years ago. It is now made without any added cocoa butter, and the remaining two ingredients (70% cacao beans and 30% cane sugar) are both organic. The bar was not certified.

The cacao beans for this chocolate came from Bertil Åkesson's plantation in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar. The bar was hand-crafted in the United States at Rogue's nut-free facility in Three Rivers, Massachusetts.

The 60 gram bar came sealed in cellophane inside a paper envelope. The best before date was October 2013.

Rogue created an incredible surface sheen (apologies for not having a photo, but that top surface was simply too reflective :). The bar was unscored and without any imprints or bubbles. Except for an oval from the pour where the sheen was uneven and some tiny adhered bits of chocolate, the bar appeared nearly perfect.

The chocolate was a medium brown Bitter Chocolate (PANTONE 19-1317) color. The bar had a hard snap.

The aroma contained fruit, roast, earth and wood scents. The fruit was mostly prune. The roast contained a hint of coffee. The wood seemed to be cedar.

Sambirano tasted fruity, with citrus flavors of orange and lime. Raisin and cherry came forth shortly thereafter. Roast was also present. The wrapper described the flavor profile as "citrus, rum raisin, toast".

The melt was creamy, with just a suggestion of fudge in the mouthfeel. The length was remarkably long, with the chocolate flavor lasting 50 to 60 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was acidic.

Overall, this was a superb chocolate, and is now among my favorites.

You can purchase Sambirano online for $7.99 directly from Rogue or for $8.00 from Chocolopolis.

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