I find Thornton's brand activity in the last few years a bit puzzling to say the least. What I once perceived as really quite a prestigious brand, now in my eyes has the same commonality as any other mass consumer brand. If you look around, pretty much everywhere stocks Thornton's chocolate - from supermarkets, convenience stores, Woolworths .... I have even seen some of their goods in petrol stations. This is a stark contrast to the level exclusivity the brand used to hold by only selling its goods exclusively in its own shops. Despite my reservations of the brand strategy, I will admit they make some damn fine chocolate - today I tried their 60% dark chocolate.
The bar came in a 50.0g serving size, at a relatively inexpensive 59p. The wrapper of the chocolate was ok - it had a good design that gave it a premium look. However, as you can see by the picture above of the chocolate, it didn't do the greatest of jobs keeping the product fresh. The chocolate had a blemished, dusty looking surface - the appearance turned out to be very indicative of the textures to come. I wasn't all that impressed by the smell of the chocolate either - it was predominantly quite sweet smelling, but there was a background hint of a sour dairy scent ... it didn't smell all that appetising.
I won't skirt around the issue - I thought this was one of the poorest dark chocolates I have ever tasted, neither the taste or the texture were of a good quality. From a 60% cocoa solids chocolate I was really expecting more in terms of flavour depth. From the initial moment the chocolate entered my mouth, to the time it had fully melted away, the flavour progression was near non-existent. The taste started off as what I would describe as musty, it had a really padded out feel to its cocoa flavours - they were neither striking or imposing, just weak and very uninspiring. The poorness of the taste was only outdone by the poorness of the texture. As the melt progressed the chocolate cloyed and clumped - it just felt like a really poor quality chocolate. This was a really unsatisfying bar, it was a struggle to eat the whole 50.0g, but this was more down to the lack of quality rather than its fulfillment credentials.
Overall as I have already referred to, this bar was one of the poorest dark chocolates I have had. For a 60% recipe it really lacked flavour, the cocoa was very understated and just completely lacked the strength in taste I was hoping for. The awful texture only reaffirmed my conclusions that this was a really poor quality chocolate - its melt was both grainy and lazy. To be honest I have very few nice things to say about this bar. It wasn't quite Cadbury Bournville bad, but it was pretty close - this isn't a dark chocolate I would recommend.
6.0 out of 10