Monday, 31 August 2009

August 31st: Thorntons Dark Chocolate with Mint

Kcal 483 Fat 35.7g Fat(sats) 22.4g Carbs 33.1 (per 100.0g)

Personally I think Thorntons happen to be one of the most confusing chocolatiers on the market. Some of their range is superb, whilst other parts of it wouldn't look out of place in Lidl's own brand range. Thankfully some recent reviews have proved that when they put their minds to it they really can produce the goods and their milk chocolate with Tonka Bean bar was testament to that. Today I decided to try another bar from their Blocks Range in the form of the Dark Chocolate with Mint which constituted of 'dark chocolate with natural peppermint oil and mint crystals' ... mint crystals!? Yeh I was intrigued aswell!

Despite the Tonka Bean variant breaking trend with its 70.0g size, normality was restored here with this bar weighing in at 90.0g. The packaging varied ever so slightly from the previously mentioned Tonka Bean with the green colouring being only slightly paler in comparison. Below the exterior cardboard packaging I was disappointed to find that the plastic packet material had been used unlike some of the newer variants in the range which have silver foil ones. The chocolate itself implemented the same design work as usual to decorate the upper surface; when I seperated the blocks the green crystal pieces were visible throughout the dark chocolate. As I have come to expect from mint flavoured chocolates the smell was really rather strong and provided a strong peppermint context from the outset.

I had never been bowled over by Thorntons' dark chocolate before but I was looking forward to trying this 66% recipe which supposedly used cocoa beans from Mexico. To cut all the long windiness out I will reveal straight away I was disappointed. The chocolate really lacked consistency in its taste with the cocoa flavours coming through randomly and at times proved to be quite startling and almost bitter. Some blocks the cocoa flavours were strong whilst at other times they were mild if not existent - one thing that was ever present though was the mint influence which was similarly good and bad in equal measures. The peppermint oil that was integrated into the chocolate added a nice fresh, cooling element and left a lasting impression in the mouth. I thought far less of the mint crystals though, which just so happened to be bits of sugar. They made the texture rough and awkwardly crunchy in places whilst adding a burst of unnecessary sweetness where ever present. I ate this bar over the course of two 45.0g servings - none of which I found that satisfying due to me not really enjoying the taste all that much.

Overall Thorntons have hit another troff here - this was a pretty poor effort with this chocolate and mint combination. I neither enjoyed the chocolate or the mint element which sort of says it all really. The chocolate was inconsistent in its flavours and the added sweetness of the mint crystals just didn't suit the nature of the dark chocolate whatsoever. Remembering back to my review of the Cadbury Dairy Milk with Mint Chips I thought that the sweetness generated by the mint pieces in that bar suited the milk chocolate well - this just wasn't the case here. I guess I should have seen this coming given the poorness of the Thorntons Mint Bar that I previously reviewed back in February. If it is mint and dark chocolate your after I would seriously avoid this one and go for the Lindt Excellence Mint Intense ... it is superior in every way.

5.5 out of 10

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