Tuesday, 7 October 2008

October 7th: Dove Milk / Dark / Almond Chocolate

Dove chocolate is the US equivalent of Galaxy chocolate here in the UK. A bit like the deal we have with MilkyWay (US) and Mars (UK), both are manufactured by Mars (Masterfoods) but sold under the different brand names for reasons unknown ... anyone!?? Recently ***I SHOP 4 YOU II*** sent me across these three different bars from the US Dove range, the milk chocolate, dark chocolate and almond milk chocolate.

The bars came in well presented plastic wrappers in the form of a 36.9g servings for the plain milk and dark variants, and a 32.9g serving for the almond milk chocolate. They were significantly smaller than their equivalent UK Galaxy single serving bars, this was not something that reflected favourably in the context of their deliverance of hunger fulfilment. The design work of the packaging was all but familiar with the only obvious difference being in the branding. Despite the bars appearing relatively small in their size, aesthetically they were nicely presented with a five piece segregation scheme, each with smart looking Dove logos. Below are my notes for each of the variants:

Dove Milk Chocolate:Kcal 200 Fat 12.0g Fat(sats) 7.0g Carbs 20.0g

The bar had a relatively nice smell when released from the foil wrapper. It's dairy smell was one of very few similar characteristic to it's UK equivalent.

The texture of the chocolate was pleasant, it didn't have the thickness in melt of the UK bar, though it was equally as silky and smooth. The chocolate was extremely milky, I stress the word milky here and not creamy. Due to the thinner nature of the melt, the taste seemed more mellow than Galaxy. It was a nicely balanced, easy-going milk chocolate, but just lacking the richness and impact in it's overall flavour in comparison to Galaxy.

7.7 out of 10

Dove Dark Chocolate:
Kcal 190 Fat 12.0g Fat(sats) 7.0g Carbs 17.0g

This bar had a more striking aroma than the milk chocolate bars. It had richer connotations of cocoa and just had a bit more substantially behind it.

The nature of the melt was the same of both the milk chocolate variants - it had a nicely paced smooth melt that released the flavours of the bar at a nice rate. Tastewise this bar didn't offer a necessarily better overall taste. It did however offer one that grew in intensity during it's melt, making the overall flavour duration last a lot longer. The actual taste of the bar was very sweet, and would definitely be what I would consider a mass consumer friendly dark chocolate. The volume of the cocoa intensity seemed turned up somewhat, with less emphasis placed on the milky flavours. The taste had a slightly tangy element, with notes of fudge - It's stronger flavour was for me preferable over the milk chocolate.

8.0 out of 10

Dove Almond Milk ChocolateKcal 180 Fat 11.0g Fat(sats) 6.0g Carbs 16.0g

I always find almonds quite a risky business, if not fresh they can really lack flavour - this was unfortunately somewhat the case here. The smell of the bar was identical to the plain milk chocolate variant with no nutty indication here whatsoever.

If this had been a blind taste test, I would have likely have guessed that the pieces embedded in the chocolate were in fact rice cereal pieces. They added a nice crunchy contrastive texture, but struggled to generate any sort of substantial flavour. Occasionally I did detect small savoury nutty notes, but the tiny chopped nature of the almond pieces did very little to create an impact on the overall flavour. Of course the chocolate was of a relatively good standard but this was largely disappointing given the promise of the extra nut element.

7.4 out of 10
Overall despite these being a relatively good standard range of chocolate bars, my own personal view is that the UK Galaxy equivalents of the milk chocolate bars are superior. The Dove milk chocolate had a thinner nature to it's melt, because of this the overall flavours seemed less impactful and not as creamy, whilst the length of the taste just didn't last as long ... given the smaller nature of the bars this was never going to be a preferable thing. This wasn't the first time either that I have had a nut containing bar that simply didn't have a strong enough nut flavour to warrant the inclusion. Despite the added interest to the texture the almond milk chocolate was largely disappointing. My favourite of the lot was the dark chocolate, I cannot compare it to the Galaxy Dark as I haven't reviewed it yet, but in the context of the milk chocolate variants it's flavour was richer and more forthcoming. Anyone who has tried both brands it would be great to have your input on the subject - please comment away. If any of my American readers enjoy these Dove bars I urge you to try get hold of some Galaxy chocolate - I'm sure you will really enjoy it. The Dove range is fair, but for my money Galaxy has the slight edge.

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