November 11th: Ritter Sport Dark Whole Hazelnuts

Kcal 559 Fat 38.7g Fat(sats) 17.5g Carbs 44.7g (per 100.0g)

Being a huge fan of both the Ritter Sport Milk and White Chocolate Whole Hazelnut bars, Dean-German-Grocery insisted they send me this Dark Whole Hazelnuts variant. I was never going to be one to complain - formed of 50% cocoa solids plain chocolate and 23% hazelnuts, I saw no reason why this shouldn't a bar I would really enjoy.

The bar came in the standard 100.0g form, which made for two very plentiful servings. The outer-packaging was of standard Ritter quality, and like the Milk and White Whole Hazelnuts variants pictured the bumpy surface of the bar on the front of pack. The chocolate itself looked superb, it had a deep, dark coloured appearance that had contrasting lighter hazelnuts dispersed evenly throughout. As well as looking great, the bar also had a very forthcoming cocoa smell, that raised my expectations even further - it smelt fantastic.

Like the 50% cocoa solids formulation indicated, this was not the most intense dark chocolate I had ever tasted, it was still full of flavour though. The flavours were very forthcoming and strong, yet never bitter, and a nice milky undertone complimented the raw cocoa edge superbly. The melt was a little on the slow side, however was wonderfully thick and highly enjoyable in contrast to the crunchiness of the hazelnut pieces. All too often in dark chocolate and nut combinations, the flavours of the nuts get glossed over by the more intense flavours of the dark chocolate - the nature of the whole hazelnut pieces stopped this from happening here. The hazelnuts had nice earthy, buttery flavours that were by no means belittled by the chocolate, they tasted very fresh indeed. The combination of the rich dark chocolate and full on nut pieces delivered a really long lasting taste that meant this was an extremely fulfilling bar - 50.0g felt like plenty.

Overall it seems that Ritter Sport have pulled off some fantastic hazelnut bars for all three milk, white and dark chocolates. In this bar the danger lay with the dark chocolate dominating the nuts, however this was luckily not the case. The hazelnuts just further added another wonderful nutty context to the full bodied cocoa taste, proving once again that nuts are at their best when implemented whole, and not ground down into small tasteless pieces. Yet another cracker from the Ritter Sport range, and one that I very much recommend - especially to you dark chocolate fans.

8.8 out of 10