Fresco are small batch chocolate maker out of Lynden, WA and a company I've wanted to try their chocolate for quite a while. Interestingly they don't label their products with focus on origin or cocoa level, but actually a number. In this instance its 212 which somehow relates to the fact that this is a 72% cocoa Dominican Republic chocolate from batch 11-024 which was created on November 22nd 2011 and this is one of just 437 made from that batch. The chocolate tickers amongst you will love the level of detail offered on the packaging.
It's this pre-occupation with unarguable facts and a dislike from normative statements such as tasting notes which may prejudice a customer's experience of his chocolate that characterises Fresco's Rob Anderson's approach.
Combined with those factual notices relating to origins etc. we have an indicator of the intensity of the roast and length of the conche. The 212 comparitively has a light roast and 'subtle' conche. I'd love to know the exact conche time, but I'd expect it was around the 16 hours.
Apart from the fact that the packaging details that the origin of the beans are the Dominican Republic, there's no information relating to any particular estates or farms. That's not an important piece of information as I suspect the actual nature of the beans changes every season. Apparently Rob does produce chocolate with no roast - we'd have to try and get our hands on one of those.
Nonetheless, this chocolate has an absolutely beautiful raisin flavour with a slight dash of dried plub. On the first taste I felt an over-whelming balsamic flavour, but subsequent passes certainly do deliver the raisin in spades. There is undoubted quality here and its no surprising that it won a Silver Medal at in the Americas finals of the International Chocolate Awards. It really is a delightful dark bar.