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Robb Vices Subscription Box Review + Coupon – February 2018

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robb vices february 2018 box

Robb Vices is “a membership program centered on a monthly delivery of storied treasures.” Each month, they send a collection of curated products and/or experiences.

Subscribers should expect boxes to include “vices” like “exceptional wines and spirits to enjoy, foods to taste, tools, toys, accessories, and gadgets.”

FYI – Please read the note from Liz at the bottom of this review.

robb vices unboxing experience february 2018

This is my first Robb Vices box, and immediately, I was shocked by how BIG this box is! It’s about the size of a briefcase and roughly the shape, too, with its plastic handle. I felt like I was cracking into a treasure chest or something.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

all items in the robb vices february 2018 box

all items in the february 2018 fondue themed robb vices box

About Robb Vices

The Subscription Box: Robb Vices

The Cost: $89.95 + shipping (For reference, shipping to PA is $7.95.) Save with longer subscriptions.

COUPON: Use code MSAVICELOVE to receive a bonus gift when you sign up for a 6- or 12-month subscription!

The Products: Each box contains a curated selection of products and experiences and provides subscribers with a taste of the good life!

Ships to: Robb Vices ships to all states except ND, UT.

Robb Vices February 2018 Review

Robb Vices is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a decadent fondue-themed box! Let’s check it out:

cover of the february 2018 robb vices booklet

robb vices information booklet page

brand page in the february 2018 robb vices box

product list for the robb vices february 2018

As is the case with every Robb Vices shipment, this one was topped with a mini magazine.

article about dl & co

fondue recipes

beer maker article

fondue recipes with cheese and chocolate

Inside, there are articles about the products inside, information about the brands and purveyors, and recipes that incorporate the products I received.

cheese fondue history in robb vices

chocolate fondue info in the february 2018 robb vices box

chocolate bars in magazine

chocolate fondue recipe from robb vices february 2018

smaller chocolate brand information

spread about beer in robb vices february booklet

How mouthwatering are those photos?!

fondue set

red ceramic fondue pot

spout on red fondue pot

fondue pot from side

base of red fondue pot

fondue skewers

tip of a fondue fork

Exclusive Emile Henry Fondue Set with Four Forks, 1 qt. – Value Listed $125.00*

*Please see the note from Liz at the bottom of this review regarding this item.

I’ve never owned a fondue set before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve seen little electric kits at cooking stores and mini kits that work with tea lights or sterno burners. This 7″ ceramic fondue pot doesn’t come with a sterno kit, meaning you’ll have to prep your fondue on the stove (or in the microwave or the oven) rather than in the center of your table. That also means your fondue may cool down faster than you’d like (not that it gets cold right away, but without its own heating element, it does cool off after about 20 minutes). All of that said, it’s an awesome, heavy-duty pot that’s able to be used in the oven, on the stove, in the microwave, or even on your grill. My electric stove can be a little finicky at times, but this pot seemed to evenly heat my cream-based chocolate fondue evenly (nothing burned, which means no wasted chocolate). I’ll show the fondue-making process a little later on! Emile Henry has apparently been in the cookware business for hundreds of years, which makes me feel like this French-made fondue pot has a little more history and authentic flair than something I might pick up at the mall.

Since I’m new to fondue, I don’t mind the idea of warming things up on the stove and moving the pot to a trivet on the table when it’s ready (besides, it’s only meant for four people, so chances are, the fondue will be used up before it cools down too much). But I can also empathize with more die-hard fondue fans who expect an at-the-table experience for their money.

bag of dark chocolate pieces

dark chocolate with chili flakes

chocolate chunks dark chocolate chunks

Fixx Chocolate Garis’s Chili Pepper Chocolate, 8 oz. – Listed Value $16.00

Fixx Chocolate Gavin’s Hickory Smoked Chocolate, 8 oz. – Listed Value $16.00

Cheese fondue is delicious, but there’s nothing quite like a pot of molten chocolate to get my appetite going. These two bags contain a total of 16 oz. of chopped up chocolate chunks perfect for melting. I couldn’t find these items on the Fixx Chocolate site shop, so I listed the values that were included in the booklet. I love these unexpected flavors! The chili style offers the slightest, heartwarming chili flavor that burns at the end of each bite, and the hickory style reminded me of the kind of sweet-savory flavor you’d expect from bacon (if a bit subtler).

d&l candle

black dl & co candle

dl & co candle label

D.L. & Co. Candle in Fireside Embers, 7.4 oz. – Listed Value $30.00 (Buy an 8.5 oz. version for $40.00 here)

As yet another interpretation of this month’s melty theme, Robb Vices included a candle from D.L. & Co. Looking around at the candle brand’s website, this scent typically appears in a slightly bigger red votive. Personally, I’m thrilled by the black votive! It matches my decor a lot better than a red one would have. I love how warm and almost musky this candle smells—it still has that woody-cabin vibe, but there’s a depth to it that I didn’t expect. It kind of captures the feeling as well as the aroma of being bundled up in a blanket in front of a log cabin fire.

la birra di meni runcis

beer bottle label

italian beer in glass

La Birra Di Meni Runcis – Listed Value $16.99

This beer would make a fantastic beer cheese fondue, but it also made for a pretty refreshing, indulgent beverage! This Italian amber ale is light and refreshing with a rich, hoppy, beer flavor. The bubbles felt smaller than usual, making it really easy to sip on. The booklet says it’s the brewery’s most “elegant” beer and that it walks the line between beer and wine. I don’t know if I’d go that far—it’s still very much a beer to me—but this artisanal, Italian-style creation does feel more refined than most of the craft beers I’ve had here in the states.

fermentation gloop on the mouth of a bottle

One thing to note—there was a bit of opaque, thicker foam on the cap and top of the bottle, which is presumably a part of the fermentation process (kind of like how kombucha has a “mother” drifting around in it). The back of the label says the beer is “non pastorizzata” (a.k.a. non-pasteurized), meaning there might be happier little bacteria floating around it post fermentation than you’re used to.

red fondue pot and fondue kit from robb vices february 2018

Okay! Want to see how my first attempt at fondue went down?

chocolate being poured into hot cream

chocolate melting into fondue

Look out, waistline—making fondue is WAY too easy! I essentially boil heavy cream in my new red pot, then kill the heat and add the chocolate once the cream starts to bubble. I went with the chili chocolate for this round.

chocolate fondue being made

stovetop chocolate fondue

If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you can also add a touch of brandy to the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, you then stir and stir until the hot cream has melted and mixed with all of the chocolate. The liquid chocolate is a bit looser than I expected (more like a gravy consistency than a nacho cheese one, for lack of a better example, hehe), but it’s perfect for dipping. (It gets a little thicker as it sits, too.)

fondue set up

fondue pot and cake on skewer

dripping chocolate on fondue-dipped cake

You can dip any ol’ thing you want into this chocolate fondue. Strawberries, cookies, pretzels… For this first go, I got some grocery store pound cake and cut it into bite-size squares. Pop one on the end of your fork, give it a twist through the molten chocolate and take a bite (or transfer it to a plate, if you’re being sophisticated about it…). I can’t tell you how rich, decadent, and addictively spicy this chocolate fondue tasted!

Verdict: Keep in mind that I’m just a fondue newbie, but I found this box to be SO much fun. The chocolate was A+, as was the beer, and although I would’ve liked a burner stand to complete this small, 4-person fondue set, I was blissful about how easy and burn-free the Emile Henry pot made my first fondue-making process. My electric stove isn’t known for its precision—instead, it’s known to burn things on the bottom of pans. But this ceramic pot made me look like a pro on the first try. Oh, and did I mention that I LOVE the way that candle smells? It smells almost as divine as my kitchen did while this chocolate was cooking.

NOTE FROM LIZ:

I asked Anna to review the items in the box only, and I would address the issues with the fondue pot. The UPC on the bottom of the pot is associated with both Emile Henry 1-Quart Sauce Pot (Approx $40 Value), and Fondue Pot with Pouring Rim ($125 Value Listed). I don’t have both items in front of me, so I can’t say for certain, but visually the only difference seems to be the forks. Robb Vices has responded that they are different products because they are “made of a different combination of clays and minerals.”

Several forum members who are Robb Vices subscribers have reached out to both Robb Vices and Emile Henry with questions about this, and I recommend reading about what they’ve shared if you are considering subscribing.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Sign up by the 1st of the month to receive that month’s box.

Check out all of our Robb Vices Reviews and find other specialty boxes in the Artisan Subscription Box Directory!

Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wishlist!

What do you think of the February box from Robb Vices?

Written by Anna Reilly

Anna Reilly

Anna loves collecting little treasures, be they pop-culture finds, handmade mementos, or new potions to put in her makeup bag. Beauty boxes got her interested in the subscription world, but now she’s swooning for all things kawaii!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

47 Comments

  1. Emile Henry makes a fondue set with the bottom and it come with four forks. It is 130.00 and they make a larger on for a little more. I quit Rob Vices last month when they sent all that tea. I agree the boxs are not what they were whe I first started.

    Sincerely.joan

  2. Is it safe for me to use my pot on my gas stove burners? On my grill? In the oven?

    I’m pretty upset about all this. I don’t trust what’s going on. I don’t know the truth about the pot. I don’t know what minerals it’s made of. I’m afraid to use it. Is it safe? Will it break or crack from heat? Just be honest!

    • While disappointing that its not the actual $125 fondue set sold on Emile Henry website I can tell you the included pot is safe to use on the stove, grill or microwave. I made the chocolate fondue on the gas burner of my stove, refrigerated the remaining in the pot and the next day took the pot from fridge to stove top again with no problems. Both days I id start the burner on low and rose the heat but that was mainly so as to not scorch the heavy cream.

      • Thank you so much for the info. It’s so helpful. Do you know if I can use it inside the oven? I do like the pot. I was thinking of making mac-n-cheese in it or tomatoe bisque. I understand you’re not the EH spokesperson lol. But if you or anyone else need I’d be so grateful

        • No problem. According to EH “Our fondue pot works on the stovetop, in the oven, on a charcoal/ ceramic/ gas grill, in the microwave, and is dishwasher safe. ”
          That said, I wouldn’t use it on broil mode. But that’s just me.

          • Thank you so much. So helpful!

  3. I have this box unopened, and and would be happy to sell. If interested please send me a message or reply to this with some type of contact info.

  4. It seems I’m in the minority as well as I loved my box. I look forward to the curation each month just to see what magic it brings. You can’t make everyone happy and I’m sure there will be may a month where I may not like the box but that’s the risk we all take now and again when subscribed to subscription boxes. I never check rv, so for me I didn’t care what the pot cost. I can’t wait for February!

    • I don’t mind the risk, it’s when they start being dishonest that I have a problem with. No one is forcing them to say this months box will be worth x amount of dollars. They choose to do that and when they miss the mark, that’s on them, and deleting posts on their social media that are just asking for clarification doesn’t help. Also, they shouldn’t tell people they are giving them a fondue pot, when in fact it’s a sauce pan that originally sold for cheaper than what they claim it’s worth. I’m sure a lot more people would have been fine if they were up front from the beginning, I know I would have been. I’ve been getting this box since April 2016 and usually I’m happy, but I and others have noticed a decline in the last 6 months or so.

    • I’ve liked every single box I’ve received since I started subscribing in April. For me it’s always worth the cost. I don’t like being lied to, but I’m not going to cancel. I have too much fun opening it and using it with my husband.

  5. This box is way overpriced and just a friendly piece of advice to American subscribers: I think you are being ripped off by many companies which advertise products from other countries, hobbies which are unusual there etc. They are using the “exotic” label to take advantage of your purse as you do not know the real prices of most products in other countries.

    I actually had this conversation with two friends of mine here in Europe -I am currently teaching in Bulgaria; I come from the Canary Islands, Spain- last weekend and we found at least 17-18 boxes in which you are being overcharged. Before subscribing to boxes double-check online prices of individual items, do a bit of research.

    There are sooo many subscription boxes out there that it makes sense to “investigate” a bit first before committing to signing up for one.

    I no longer subscribe to boxes. Instead I just buy one first to try just in case…

    • While I agree a lot of boxes are a ripoff, there are many more that are a good value. For example, the LE box from Popsugar was worth way more than $60…even if I would have went out and bought cheaper comparable items. The Owlcrate box is typically a good value just for the exclusive items and curation. The Good Being box is a tremendous value for me because I wouldn’t be able to afford natural skincare otherwise. My skin has improved a ton since I started subscribing to them.

      Now for boxes that feature $50 eyeshadows made in China and only features in subs? Yeah, no. Same with “fair trade” boxes where you are paying 100-1000 times more than what the “artisan” was paid.

    • I’m an American, but I’ve been to Europe a multitude of times (lived in Ireland, trip to Sweden, trip to Sweden, many times to Norway, etc etc) and I would generally agree with you there with regard to products. But at the same time, I figure in the cost of the original item in its original currency then put that into U.S. dollars as well as combine shipping. Sometimes, it’s well worth it and other times, it is not. Sometimes, it costs a lot more in Europe to buy these products and less here, and vice versa. I would definitely suggest doing your homework in buying European goods, for example, especially beauty / skincare products. I’m mostly interested in skincare, so it’s what’s kept me from some boxes while I have my eyes set on just one now. I don’t subscribe to any “mainstream” boxes now. I do subscribe to two indie makeup subs at the moment and might scale that down to one. My focus is now 95% skincare. I won’t do BeautyFix as it’s not natural/organic/cruelty-free. I do love perusing this website for ideas or to look for new products to buy on my own. I would also agree on the sense that a lot of people, Americans or not, love the idea of “exotic” goods from some far away country or even the country next door to you. 🙂

      • Oops, double said “trip to Sweden,” but meant to also say Germany

  6. If Robb Vices has just called the item what it was and said “this is great sauce pot from a wonderful brand that is also perfect for fondue” and they had used the $40 RV and thrown in a trivet for the table . . . we would have loved this box.

    It is all the lies and deception that has been so upsetting. Both companies can kiss my fondue.

  7. I’m sorry to hear so many subscribers are unhappy with the fondue pot, but thank you all for sharing your perspectives on the pricing situation! Hopefully, the Robb Vices folks hear your concerns and take that feedback into account <3

    • Hey Anna,
      Can you please do a cost breakdown for the box?

      Thank You so much!

      • Here’s a cost breakdown for February
        Chocolate : $7.06 each
        Candle $13.23
        Beer $7.50
        “Fondue Set” $55.13

        • The cost breakdown on what was really sent in the box.

          Chocolate $11.20
          Candle $21
          Beer $11.90
          EH Pot $35

          • Hey Anna! Where can you get a big bottle of La Birra di Meni for $7.50 or $11.90? Italy? Retail in New York seems to range from $14.99 to $21.99 at Eataly WTC. I really do not care about the price, but I want some more and it is sold out in Whole Foods in New York!!! Help!

  8. I’m starting with something positive, the chocolate was good! The negative, I’m not happy that we received a sauce pot that is smaller and only $5 cheaper than the EH fondue set that not only comes with 6 forks, but the burner as well. Someone pointed out on the forums that the photo on the EH website of the pot we received is actually taken from the RV booklet that came with the boxes this month. They added it after people started questioning them. That’s why the background is black instead of white like their other photos. So, no matter how much I end up liking the items in the box, that doesn’t make what they are doing ok. I don’t want to see this box fail, so maybe they need to think about going quarterly (like Popsugar) or bi-monthly since they seem to be having more and more issues with the monthly boxes. I would miss getting it every month, but if that means the quality goes back to when I first subscribed, I’m fine with that. Also, they need to quit being so shady with their customers and own up to their mistakes.

  9. They sure are sticking to their story that this sauce pot is a fodue pot!

    Here is the email response I got from Robb Vices when I expressed my suspicions about EH creating a new product page just a few days ago… I also asked why Robb Vices deletes legitimate customer questions on their Instagram page…

    “Thank you for reaching out. We assure you, the fondue pot we included in the February box is a new item that should have been on their website months ago. They simply took their time adding it to their catalog. We are not trying to pass off old stock as something it is not. Any comments that have been deleted are because they are spreading false information, not because of any other reason.”

  10. If I understand correctly, the sauce pan in question is not to be used directly on electrical hobs. Yet this pan can? In that case, they would be 2 different things.

    • Even going off that if it was two different items do you think it’s OK that they claim it’s worth three times the amount when almost the exact same item was selling for between 40-50$? That’s the issue. We ask for clarification and get told pretty much “because we said so”

      It’s getting lied to that’s the issue not the pot or pan itself which is great.

      • The value between a pot that can’t be used on a stove vs one that can will usually be significant as the latter is more expensive to make. I think saying they are made of different material is answer enough. Now, if we find out that they are using the same pot…one that they previously warned people not to use on electric stove…then it’s a HUGE issue.

        • It would be a lot easier for me to believe them if Emile Henry didn’t take down the page that had the sauce pan we were all referring to in the last two days. That’s just me though.

          • I didn’t know they took the page down. Now that is shady business tactics.

          • Plus, as pointed out in the review and on the forum, the UPC codes for the saucepan and what they are now calling a fondue pot are identical. Could EH have recycled a UPC code for a new item that happens to look exactly like the old one? Sure, that’s possible, but given the timeline of events it doesn’t seem likely.

    • The sauce pan in question was the EH flame sauce pan notice in the review it’s a Flame sauce pan it can be used on the grill. They were called out on another blog for this too.

  11. I’m a long time subscriber and this is my favorite box. I loved this box (and last mo too). December not so much. I actually prefer this pot over a traditional fondue pot which I have and never use. This pot doesn’t take much space and can be used for other sauces. I’m excited to try fondue on the BBQ. For me the value is there even at the lower value. In the past RV recd negative feedback about all the alcohol they send and I think they are trying to offer other options. While I appreciate some of the recent “experiences”, I prefer the original curations which were centered around “vices”.

  12. I think it’s absolutely disgusting for Emile Henry to be participating in Robb Vices shenanigans by adding to the UPC after the fact and suddenly listing the old saucepan as a fondue both. Both companies should be ashamed of themselves

  13. The Emile Henry pieces that I have are very large and heavy…and expensive. It’s a well-respected brand, so if someone can get a response from them, I’m sure that will put everyone’s mind at ease. Was the ale included for a decadent cheese fondue?

    Looks like a lovely box for the price.

    • Key pieces from the Emile Henry lines are my go to gift for friends. However after this debacle, I’m out. They are not being honest either. It is RV and EH. RV I have come to expect as slightly dishonest, but a known brand is also tossing mud on themselves and losing a customer in me. Personally I have purchased at least 10 EH items for friends pretty recently. I personally lean towards lecreuset for my own home (except with pie plates as those are EH). But le creuset will now have all gift giving business. This is pretty darn sketchy. It’s a sauce pot. Had you called it what it was from the beginning I would have been fine with the box. But lying and then having EH continue the lie rubs me wrong. The UPC = sauce pan. Only two days ago did EH add the sauce pan that you can melt things in which to them with tossing in forks = fondue set lol to the old UPC code. Sketchy!!!

      Peace out EH. I’m not ready to give up on RV, but I’m close
      Robb Vices, Get it together man!!

    • EH changed the listing for this pot from a $40 (I think) saucepan to a $125 fondue pot after the original listing was discovered, and RV has been responding to most inquiries about the discrepancy with a link to the new item listing. So unfortunately, both RV and EH appear to be teaming up to perpetuate this lie and are certainly not placing subscribers’ minds at ease. That’s not to say that the EH saucepan isn’t excellent quality (several commenters have said that it is), it’s just clearly not the item or the value that RV claims it is.

  14. Oh man I almost subscribed to this just because of the fondue set they had advertised/suggested would be in it. I figured it would be a great deal but none the less knew I shouldn’t spend the money. I’m super glad I didn’t order this now. Defiantly doesn’t build trust for members, new or old.

    • I have the box, unopened. If you’re interested in it, send me a message or reply to this.

  15. If you look on Amazon, it’s clearly the saucepot. The fondue pot does not have a pour spout. Also interesting to note that the sauce pot on Amazon in this color is out of stock. So I’m thinking either Rob Vices bought up Amazon’s supply, or this is an item that is being discontinued and it was bought in bulk at a discount. I wonder if RV will be able to survive after this bit of trickery.

    • Lol. The internet is amazing. I was an ant terd away from getting an RV sub. Nope. Not now. Thank you all for exposing this fraud.

  16. I loved my box. I didn’t care if I received a burner or not. I subscribe to the yearly plan so I still find value in the sub with the discount I receive for subscribing yearly I enjoy my beautiful gift to myself each month. Whatever it may be,

  17. regardless of the valuation, I really enjoyed this box. The curation was great, I loved the chocolates, the beer and my first try eating fondue. I also appreciated the recipes! And MSA rocks, they posted more recipes in the forum. Thanks!!!

  18. Another disappointing month. So glad I canceled a couple months ago. The items this month are actually nice and useable but why the deception?? If they’re sending a nice saucepan, just say so. Don’t call it something it’s not.

  19. I guess I am in the minority, but I loved this month’s curation. Irrespective of the retail value of the fondue pot, it is a huge step up from my crappy electric fondue pot!

  20. I just don’t see the value in this box.

    • I used to be a happy RV subscriber but quit a few months ago because of all their repeated shadiness and their doubling down on said shadiness when they’re called out on it. They uncharacteristically released spoilers for this box, and their bait and switch (claiming subscribers would receive a fondue pot when they knew it’s only a nice sauce pot) can only be fairly described as a straight up scam. Buyer beware.

    • I think it is the shadiness of RV the last six months or so that gets to people. January was the first month since June or July in which they’d included something that was not as advertised. And lied repeatedly and/or refused to help.

  21. I actually never received a response from Emile Henry at all. Robb Vices just said it’s a different pot made differently and here is the link to prove it which still doesn’t explain why this different clay should make the pan worth three times the cost while being half the size and without the burners or set up that Emile
    Henry sells for five dollars more. This box was what finally convinced me to drop Robb Vices. It’s a great sauce pot! And is quality workmanship but it’s a $50 saucepan and not the $125 they claim. great curation but It’s aggravating to every month be treated like an idiot,

  22. Robb Vices used to be my dream subscription, and the past six months has been a nosedive in quality compared to what I became used to. Thank you, Liz, for pointing out the major discrepancy. This is a sauce pan. And honestly it’s probably a really nice sauce pan. But why not just include the Emile Henry fondue set that comes with a burner for 130$? It’s absurd.

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