I had these bars sitting in my review box awaiting their turn for months before I finally took the plunge today. I can't say I was too enthused to review these bars - mainly due to the relatively poor performance of the Divine white and milk chocolate bars I reviewed at the beginning of the year. However after a bit of a nudge from Jeanna at 'The Wisconin Candy Dish', and her fantastic reviews of some of Divine's goodies (See HERE!), I decided to get a get a wriggle on and give them a chance.
The presentation of the Divine range has never been a problem for me, in fact it is actually rather good. The wrappers come two fold, and combine a nice contemporary designed outer-wrapper with a foil inner-layer around the chocolate for freshness. On the inside of the paper wrapping, it explains the fascinating story of how Divine are a Fairtrade company, and how they go about the bean to bar process ... interesting if your a geek like myself and enjoy that sort of thing :)
Divine Orange Milk Chocolate:
Kcal 240 Fat 14.1g Carbs 25.4g
There was never going to be any other comparator for this bar other than Terry's Chocolate Orange, which is one of my favourite chocolate orange combinations. Opening the foil wrapper I was met with a moderate orangey smell. The citrus connotation was obvious, though it lacked the sweetness and intensity of Terry's.
Way back in February, my feelings behind the Divine Milk chocolate were largely of underwhelment ... nothing about the texture or the taste really stood out for me. By and large these were my feelings with this bar as well, though the orange element was relatively forthcoming, and added an extra dimension to the familiar bland milk chocolate. The zesty, fruity note was largely evident during the duration of the chocolate in the mouth, though once the block had melted away the taste largely disappeared leaving only a minor milky taste.
Overall I felt the extra orange element added an extra depth to the taste, though it was still somewhat shallow and lacking real impact. Personally I would recommend the far cheaper Terry's Chocolate Orange as a means of getting your chocolate orange hit, though I guess if your intent on buying fairtrade this is a fair, if still underwhelming proposition.
7.3 out of 10
Divine 70% Dark Chocolate:
Kcal 249 Fat 20.8g Carbs 12.4g
The first thing I noticed here was the disproportion of fat to sugar (carbs) in this bar compared to the milk chocolate and to a greater extent, white chocolate variants in the range. With this indication that there was a greater emphasis placed on the cocoa in this bar rather than a reliance on sugar I was somewhat hopeful.
My optimism was justified to an extent. The bar had mild scents of cocoa and coffee, though again they were only minor and lacking true definition. The melt was relatively thicker, however still lacked the softness and slow flavour release qualities of the finer dark chocolates of Lindt and Hotel Chocolat. This was the most flavoursome of the Divine range I have tasted, and had by far the most depth. The chocolate had more of an unsweetened milk chocolate sense about it rather than an cocoa intensified focus ... I'm sure to the mass market this would be far the more popular approach than the latter. The flavours never got too concentrated, and the overall taste was relatively long with the cocoa leaving a lasting impression in the mouth.
Overall this is definitely my favourite from the Divine range. Despite this though I still felt that the texture was still a long way from luxurious, and the melt definitly needs work. The taste of the bar was better than average; despite its 70% cocoa constituents it was pretty mass consumer friendly and mild in the grand scheme of the dark chocolate market. To be honest you only have to look as far as Lindt or Hotel Chocolat for better alternatives, but if your going to go Divine this is the bar I suggest.
7.7 out of 10