Ghirardelli is a brand that I hadn't actually dipped into before today, though thanks to my pals at *IShop4YouII* it finally became an eventuality. Before writing these reviews I thought I would do a little background reading on the brand - to my surprise Wiki informed me that Ghirardelli is in fact an American subsidiary of Lindt ... you learn something new everyday huh!? Given that most of my experiences with Lindt chocolate have been remarkably positive so far I was expecting similar things.
*IShop4YouII* were kind enough to send me a load of samples from Ghirardelli's 'Squares' range. Coming in a rather odd 15.1g size, each were presented in immaculate foil wrappers and had the Ghirardelli logo smartly printed into the surface.
Below are my tasting notes regarding each flavour:
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares 60% Cacao:
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) Carbs ???
The aroma carried a slight coffee indication in and amongst the obvious cocoa scents.
The taste was initially quite mild, though built in its intensity over the progression of the melt. The texture was smooth, if a little thin for my preference with dark chocolate. The resulting taste was pleasant, though just lacking in its strength a bit. I felt it was a little to milky for dark chocolate, but was happy with the friendly and lasting aftertaste.
Overall a pretty standard dark chocolate that failed to really deliver anything more than a mildly enjoyable taste. Good, but just nothing special in the dark chocolate world.
7.6 out of 10
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares Raspberry:
I liked the look of the inner fondant which matched the pink colour of its foil wrapper. Unlike some other berry flavoured chocolates I have tried recently the artificial nature wasn't overly detectable in the smell, with a more pleasurable fruity aroma present.
Again I wasn't overly impressed with the outer dark chocolate, it just failed to create a really significant impression on me. The melt was just as good, with the fondant centre well dispersed. The centre was quite jam like in its flavours - very sweet, but fruity at the same time.
Overall one of the better red berry chocolates I have tried recently. It may not have been one of my own personal favourite chocolates, but for any raspberry fans this could be a real winner.
7.9 out of 10
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares White Mint:
This cut a very After Eight like appearance but smelt far more cocoa led in its aromas. I must say the white mint filling looked very appetising indeed.
The nature of the dark chocolate seemed to work better in this piece as it seemed more appropriate with the strong tasting centre. The mild cocoa flavours transitioned nicely in to a wonderfully balanced peppermint fondant - the contrast of the smooth and slightly gooey textures was a real delight. The mint flavours seemed stronger than in After Eights which made for a fresher, more clean cut taste.
Overall my favourite of the lot - a real pleasure. The taste was flavoursome, long lasting and wonderfully balanced in its intensity. Really recommended.
8.8 out of 10
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares Caramel:
This was the only milk chocolate square I tried out of the selection today and it just so happened to include one of my favourite fillings.
In my tasting notes I have the word 'American' underlined i.e. it tasted as sweet as it smelt. The textures were very pleasurable, with a soft melting chocolate nicely revealing the inner chewy caramel. The taste of the milk chocolate was very sweet and milky, whilst the caramel delivered a nice buttery impression with just a little salty influence.
Overall this was by all means an enjoyable square, though I was left questioning whether I would enjoy eating a 50.0g serving. The flavours were very forceful in their sweetness, which suggested to me that a whole bar might be slight overkill. Still though, based on this square very enjoyable.
8.1 out of 10
Overall colour me impressed! I must admit I didn't fall all that in love with the standard of the dark chocolate, though when in the presence of additional flavours Ghirardelli seem to be a brand on the right lines. I have started with these small chocolate squares as *IShop4YouII* were kind enough to include some bigger bars from their range in my latest sampling package! From what I have seen here ... bring it on! Some great tasting chocolates.
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