Rogue Esmeraldas 80%

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Rogue Esmeraldas 80%

♫ If you like rich bars and you cannot lie ♫ ... then grab yourself this thick, pasty 80% Esmeraldas from Rogue.

This one smells like wine and tastes like roasted cacao straight out of the husk. It is earthy and biting, but if you pay close attention it evolves into a round plum flavor and finishes a tad peppery. Like Hazel Lee, I also correlate flavors in chocolate with color, and this one is a deep purple.

It's not the kind of bar I immediately gravitate toward when needing a chocolate fix, but on low sugar days, this would be a chocolate I would reach for.

The bar is made with Nacional cacao from the Costa Esmeraldas farm in northern Ecuador, a new cacao farm owned by the Salazar family. The farm is expanding and the family has collaborated with Dan O'Doherty of Cacao Services on farm design and the post-harvest facility, which allows them to carefully control their fermentation and drying practices.

In the meantime, Colin Gasko from Rogue is still doing his thing, spending an exorbitant amount of time crafting his chocolate, pumping out the most exquisite packaging we've ever seen, and not giving any thought to upping production or expanding the business. We don't mind, just as long as he stays in the game.

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