I would love to be sat in the meetings where they dream up these flavours. I mean seriously, who in their right mind would pipe up and say 'I think we should make a chocolate bar with a touch of sea salt'? ... well the answer to that is obviously the people at Lindt. This bar was sent to me by Dean-German-Grocery, and I must say I was massively curious of it. I have tried one bar with 'added salt' before, but that was a rather different proposition, as the salt included in that Hotel Chocolat bar was implemented as means to compliment the caramel.
This product came in the usual Excellence brand format - in a 100.0g bar. As is the case with most Excellence bars, this provided me with two pretty fulfilling servings. The presentation was of course of a high standard. The packaging was formed of the standard two layers with the stylishly decorated outer cardboard box and an inner foil layer. The bar itself had the usual Lindt branding on each block - the only indication I could see of the salt content were small air pockets that appeared in the chocolate. Unusually for Lindt dark chocolate the bar had quite a dairy led scent, though there was still a hint of cocoa mixed in - it smelt fantastic.
Much like the smell suggested the intensity of the chocolate seemed a lot more toned down than most other Lindt offerings (bear in mind this is straight off the back of reviewing the Lindt 99%!!). Despite this the chocolate was still very full flavoured - and had several key constituents to its overall taste. The taste of the chocolate was bittersweet with the delicious sweet, milky base flavours nicely contrasting with harsher more intense cocoa flavours. The salt constituted 3% of the total bar, this might not sound much but it heavily noted the aftertaste. At first it tasted quite odd, though after a few blocks its taste became really quite welcome - it delivered a indescribable moreishness. In a way it sort of tasted a bit like caramel - just without the buttery sweetness. The inclusion of the salt in my opinion was entirely favourable, I was thinking it might make for a coarse texture, though there were no issues there whatsoever - it melted incredibly smoothly.
Overall to my surprise this bar went far beyond just delivering a gimmicky flavour enhancement, and actually tasted absolutely superb. Personally I would have preferred the dark chocolate a little more intensely flavoured - I would love to see a Lindt 70% bar with a touch of salt. As I have said above the addition of the salt did nothing but add to the taste of the bar. It enhanced the other ingredients of the bar whilst not being at all detrimental to the texture in any manner. I will admit I doubted the potential of this Lindt offering ... but I was very wrong! I really recommend this bar, I am sure it will surprise many a person.
8.8 out of 10
Fancy trying the Lindt Excellence Sea Salt for yourself!? Fancy any another Ritter Sport / Milka / Lindt / Storck or German Grocery ... head over to Dean-German-Grocery!!