Not even in the world of Japanese Kit Kats have I ever seen a Balsamic Vinegar flavoured chocolate!? I guess there is a first for everything though, and directly out of Thorntons' square bars range I today sampled their 'Balsamic Vinegar flavoured 75% Tanzania dark chocolate'. To be honest I was pretty pessimistic about the likelihood of me liking this bar ... and that pessimism proved correct.
I ate about half of the 90.0g bar in order to write for this review, the other half is currently sitting in the bin next to my desk. As with the rest of the range the presentation was nothing to turn any noses up at. The dark rouge colour and nice fonts established quite a sophisticated look, whilst the flavour of the bar was quite subdued in communicating its uniqueness. The bar itself had some nice patterns printed into its surface, though it must be said that even from the smell I could detect something with this product wasn't quite right. Behind some standard cocoa scents there was an earthy kind of smell that just didn't resonate well with the context of the chocolate.
I have already given the game away so I will be upfront and quickly tell you that I did not like this bar at all. Placing the first block in my mouth I was surprised to find the flavours of the dark chocolate were quite restrained, something that wasn't helped by the thin melt that was produced. The mild cocoa flavours turned out to be the least of the bars worries however, as mid melt the Balsamic element reared its ugly head. The Balsamic influence was delivered through a 'Balsamic Vinegar Powder', which ultimately not only managed to establish a benign feeling lumpy texture, but also a sour set of flavours. The Balsamic element added a cheap red wine like set flavours in that they were imposing, tart and truly horrible. Half of this bar was frankly more than I could handle, hence why I had no desire to finish the other 45.0g.
Overall this was one of the worst chocolates I have reviewed this year. I remarked that I had never seen a Balsamic flavoured chocolate before ... this bar is evidence enough to why this was the case. The flavours simply just didn't work - the dark chocolate was bad to begin with, but given the poorness of the Balsamic flavours it was made to look all that bit worse. I am not going to waste anymore time describing how awful I thought this chocolate was ... I think you all will have got the idea already. Suffice to say this is not a bar I would recommend.
4.2 out of 10