January 13th: Ritter Sport Alpine / Diet / Organic Milk Chocolate

Dean-German-Grocery recently sent me across a huge package, included in which were three different types of Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate. I often refer to Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate as a great 'flavour carrier' (see Ritter Sport Yogurt, Cornflakes etc), and am generally of the thought that it does a good job complimenting an additional filling. However, I must admit that as a separate entity I have not always been impressed, and have also previously labelled it as a 'no frills', 'basic' milk chocolate. Having never tasted it completely solus, tasting and comparing three different variants of Ritter Sport's Milk Chocolate range seemed like the best thing to do.

Today I tried the Alpine Milk Chocolate, Organic Milk Chocolate and the Diet Milk Chocolate variants:

Alpine Milk Chocolate:
Alpine - Kcal 538 Fat 31.4g Fat(sats) 20.8g Carbs 55.6g (per 100.0g)

This Alpine Milk Chocolate variant was formed of 30% cocoa and 23% milk min solids. Both the outer packaging and chocolate were the lightest in colour out of the range. The wrapper was a beautiful looking sky blue colour, whilst the chocolate a pale brown. The bar had a predominantly dairy led smell - it wasn't the strongest, though it had the slightest hint of vanilla in its aroma.

This was by far the most creamy out of the selection. The creamy taste was very evident as soon as the bar entered the mouth - the flavours did show signs of progression throughout the melt of the piece, with a mild nutty element intermittently coming to the fore. The aftertaste also had a slight yoghurty tang to it, which reminded me to a degree of Hershey's milk chocolate. The texture was well delivered with a smooth, thick melt.

Overall this was a reasonably good standard milk chocolate, though the taste just didn't seem to want to commit to one defining element. This resulted in a product that had elements of being a more nutty, yoghurty led chocolate, but ended up being a pretty middle of the road milk chocolate with just minor hints of both.

7.7 out of 10

Organic Milk Chocolate:
Organic - Kcal 357 Fat 22.8g Fat(sats) 14.7g Carbs 33.2g (per 65.0g)

This Organic Milk Chocolate came in a smaller size to the other 100.0g bars, and followed the same premise as the rest of the Ritter Sport Organic range, coming in a 65.0g size. As with the rest of the range I liked the two tone blue colour scheme, whilst the pictures communicated the contents of the bar well. The bar didn't smell all that different to the Alpine Milk Chocolate, with a predominantly dairy led aroma.

This was the richest bar in terms of both cocoa content (35%) and resultingly the taste. The impetuous of the cocoa seemed elevated in the scheme of the taste, with the chocolate having a more crisp, clean taste in comparison to the other two. The aftertaste was noted nicely with vanilla, which left a nice well rounded flavour in the mouth. The small nature of the blocks meant the melt was over a bit too quickly for my liking, though it was still of an equal smoothness to the other variants.

Overall this was my favourite out of the lot, as it delivered by far the most satisfying and focused set of flavours. The increased cocoa content of the bar made for a superior, richer flavoured chocolate. It still didn't have a uniqueness in its flavours in comparison to say Dairy Milk, Galaxy or Hotel Chocolat etc, but it was still an enjoyable milk chocolate nonetheless.

7.9 out of 10

Diet Milk Chocolate:
Diet - Kcal 445 Fat 31.4g Fat(sats) 19.2g Carbs 45.3g (per 100.0g)

I must admit this 'diet milk chocolate' fascinated me most out of the three. I did some research prior to eating this and found out it contained a sugar substitute called 'Maltitol', an ingredient which constituted 35% of the bar. Both the packaging and format of this variant was very much the same as the standard range. It came in a 100.0g serving, with the only differentiators in terms of looks coming in the 'Diet' branding on the wrapper, and a slightly flatter looking surface to the chocolate. The bar had a slightly odd burnt like smell, it wasn't exactly off putting, though it was hardly that enticing either.

This was certainly the most uniquely flavoured out of the three, but unfortunately it wasn't entirely to my liking. The taste started off quite standard with a pleasant enough milk centric set of flavours. As the melt progressed the bar developed a smokey background taste, that took most of the attention away from the mostly enjoyable creamy flavours that had been initially substantiated. Unfortunately this smokey taste seemed completely out of context with the bar, and left a horrible aftertaste. This was no doubt the influence of the sugar substitute.

Overall I thought this was a really substandard milk chocolate. I understand the replacement of the sugar with the Malitol has its health benefits, but having tasted this variant I would never out of choice choose this chocolate over the other two variants. I understand that for people who are sensitive to sugar (diabetics etc!) then bars like this are a necessity and not a matter of choice, for those people I would recommend this bar as an adequate option.

6.4 out of 10

Overall having tried all three variants, I have come to the conclusion that two were slightly better than average milk chocolate options. The Alpine Milk Chocolate and Organic Milk Chocolate bars delivered fairly enjoyable and satisfying chocolates, though their tastes never reached a level of real uniqueness or prestige. I have already said all I have to say about the Diet Milk Chocolate - for the people who don't have the choice of all three variants and are limited due to dietary reasons, it is a fair standard milk chocolate. On a level playing field though, in comparison to the other variants, its slightly odd tasting smokey taste was really not preferable. Despite none of these reaching the higher levels of the milk chocolate sector, this is a range of fair standard milk chocolate bars.