Richard's Rating: 7.5
The recipes for 223 and 224 were nearly identical, both with 72% cocoa solids (with the same amount of added cocoa butter) and 28% cane sugar. The same Dominican Republic cacao beans for both were given a medium roast.
The process differed in conching: 223 experienced only a short, subtle conche, while 224 was conched for a medium duration. Without making chocolate, one rarely gets the opportunity to taste variations to experience the effects of different processing.
In any case, both chocolates were made in Fresco's nut-free facility. 223 came wrapped in gold foil-sided wax paper inside a paper box. This particular bar did not have a production or best before date.
The 45 gram bar was scored into 10 pieces, each of which was alternately lined either horizontally or vertically. The chocolate appeared smooth and only had a few tiny bubbles in the corners of some of the pieces.
223 had a medium brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012) color. The bar had a medium hard snap.
The chocolate gave off an aroma of earth, roast, sweetness, and fruit. The roast scent included smoke tea, and malt. The sweetness smelled of caramel. I noticed fruit scents of raisin and berry.
An initial earthy fruity taste soon revealed plum, lime, and berry flavors. Roast in the form of tea and cocoa as well as caramel sweetness joined shortly afterward. The taste was also tannin.
The melt was smooth, perhaps slightly less than average. The length lasted to the far end of medium, with the chocolate flavor dissipating only after about 35 to 40 seconds. The final aftertaste was tannin and slightly acidic.
You can purchase 223 Dominican Republic online for $8.00 directly from Fresco or for $7.00 from Chocolopolis.