Now with Christmas drawing in fast I am sure a lot of you are considering gifting the odd box of chocolates to your friends and family. With that in mind I today thought I would give one of the most widely available Thorntons selection boxes a try - their 'Classic Collection'.
This product came as a box of ten chocolates which came billed as 'classic favourites including caramel, nut, fruit and fudge centres, enrobed in dark, milk and white chocolate. The selection included eight different variants with two portioned twice.
For me the presentation was a mixed bag ... and I mean that literally! Whereas the outer golden box looked pretty swanky, inside the chocolates were all jumbled together in a single plastic packet leaving them looking not so fresh in appearance and also all smelling the same as they were all affected the sweet, fruity piece in the packet. Personally I think this is a cardinal sin and I simply just can't stand it when this happens as it tends to have an impact on the initial flavours ... which it annoyingly did!
Below are my brief thoughts on each chocolate - working from left to right as usual.
Creamy Fudge - This was one of the flavours that was portioned twice with one milk chocolate covered and one dark chocolate covered. Out of the two the dark chocolate was the better as the milk chocolate and fudge combination was a little too startling in terms of sweetness. Thorntons are quite good at their fudge fillings and I again relatively enjoyed the crumbly, sugary buttery flavours of the centre. Good.
Hazelnut Nougat - Just as with every piece the outer chocolate was briefly affected by an annoying fruity tinge though it soon settled down to provide a fair coating. This sounded one of the more intriguing chocolates out of the selection but the inner hazelnut nougat was a complete let down lacking any nutty flavours of note with its boring sweet bland taste. Poor.
Chocolate Dream - Dream!??? Hmmm I don't think so. Maybe I have been spoilt by quality chocolate truffles recently but this was seriously bad. The outer chocolate of both variants was of a fair quality but the inner 'truffle' was absolute pap! It had a rancid sweetness that on the whole just tasted ridiculously cheap. One to avoid! Awful.
Strawberry Velvet - Ahhhhh the perpetrator! This chocolate was the offending piece that initially affected the taste of all the others in the selection with its artificial fruity aroma. Surprisingly it actually tasted pretty good :) and unlike the smell suggested the centre offered a tasty fruitiness that I was actually pretty impressed with. Good.
Country Caramel - This was actually more of a toffee than a caramel with its super hard texture but lets not get into that discussion. This was a piece I relatively enjoyed but wasn't particularly all that fussed with. The outer dark chocolate was fair and established a nice set of chocolaty flavours in the mouth before the hard inner centre was sucked on. The caramel was little flavourless and grainy in texture, though I did like the change up from the softer centre pieces and did get some pleasure from the mild butterscotch flavours. Standard.
Creamy Coffee - As a big fan of coffee flavoured chocolates I was looking forward to this one in particular and saved it until last. Unfortunately it wasn't the fitting finale I was hoping for as the coffee flavours were mild if not non-existent. The soft centre did have a milky, creamy taste but it just didn't deliver the promised coffee element. Poor.
Turkish Delight - I don't think I review enough Turkish Delight chocolates but this chocolate didn't exactly inspire me to seek out any more products with any great urgency. After the fake strawberry influence disappeared there was very little time to enjoy the true flavours of the milk chocolate as it was portioned very thinly around the inner jelly. The turkish delight centre was lovely in a texture with its minor chewiness but it lacked a little in the flavour department with the rose water flavours perhaps not as strong as you would find in the like of Fry's etc. Standard.
Coconut Paradise - Did I save the best to write about until last!? Well not on purpose but it is the way it has worked out! This chocolate was really pretty good and was surprisingly coconut centric in its flavours. The outer white chocolate had a double cream like taste and smoothly melted into a crunchy centre which was lined with small pieces of coconut. Had I to choose one of these chocolates to have again this would be the one. Very Good.
Overall despite the actually variety in terms of selection on offer here the actually quality wasn't all that great. As I mentioned in the opening few paragraphs what annoyed me greatly about these chocolates in particular was the fact that for the first few seconds of the taste they all initially tasted the same due to them being stored in the same packet as the fruit piece in the selection. This didn't spoil things for me totally but it was certainly an annoyance and was not a good start to the taste for every piece. Like all selection boxes you are often going to find there are a few chocolates you don't like but for me there were just to many here with the hazelnut nougat and chocolate dream pieces sticking out like sore thumbs. Although there are a few chocolates that I did enjoy in here I just can't recommend that you gift these this Christmas. If you are looking to do things on a budget (£1.99) then this might possibly be a viable option but in that case I would just go for the £1 boxs of selected Cadbury, Nestle or Mars bars you can get.
5.5 out of 10