January 1st: Mars Almond

Kcal 245 Fat 12.9g Carbs 29.2g

Is there a better way to nurse your new years day hangover than reading a chocolate review from your favourite website ChocolateMission .... err OK there are probably better ways but hey now your here you may as well just give this a read ... oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR :) Kick starting this year we have this Mars Almond bar which was sent to me by ChocolateMission reader Alan. Being the geek I am I did a little research on the product and found out that it is distributed throughout middle Europe - judging by the packaging it says that it is manufactured in France. Described as 'milk chocolate with nougat, almonds and caramel' it sounded remarkably like the Snickers Almond I had reviewed previously - Click HERE to see this review.

The bar came in a 49.0g form which you wont be surprised to hear that I ate in single sitting. The outer packaging looked very familiar to the standard Mars and held many consistencies in its design with the Mars logo at the forefront of this. The differentiators for this product came in the red wood colour of the wrapper and the subtle almond branding which was placed on the logo. Looking at the bar itself it was noticeably flatter than a normal Mars and when cross-sectioned had visible almond nuts placed throughout the nougat. In regards to smell I was a little disappointed that I couldn't detect any almond or nut influence, however the expected sweet, chocolate and caramel scents were appetising to say the least.

Comparing this bar with Snickers Almond was an easy task for me as I consumed the Snickers one on mass when it was available during its limited period. To cut to the chase this bar maintained almost all of its positive attributes but unfortunately not all of them which meant I thought this Mars Almond wasn't quite on a par (very close mind!). The quality of the outer chocolate held no surprises with its sweet milky taste that cut through nicely with its chocolatyness delivering the all important chocolate flavour hit. Where this bar differed slightly was in the implementation of the almonds which had been chucked into the nougat as opposed to the caramel where they were situated in the Snickers Almond. From a totally selfish perspective I preferred the nuts being in with the caramel as this allowed the crunchy textures of the nuts to come through more which gave an added dimension in terms of textures. On a more positive note the almonds chucked in with the nougat didn't compromise the flavours whatsoever and the full span of buttery, savoury nut flavours present in the nougat still nicely contrasted with the butterscotch, sweet flavours of the caramel that lay on top. As you would expect with the smaller size this bar wasn't as fulfilling as a normal Mars, however it was still more than sufficient in satisfying the hunger I had at the time.

Overall this was yet another intriguing bar to try even though the differences observed weren't quite implemented for the better. At the end of the day this was still a very enjoyable chocolate and although I won't be swapping it for the more classical standard Mars bar anytime soon it was still nice to how the slight variation on the recipe played out. In contrast to the Snickers Almond produced in the US I would say the swapping of the placement of the almonds wasn't favourable as the nougat in a way suffocated the textures of the nuts, not allowing them to express themselves fully. As I have mentioned above though the taste at the end of the day was not compromised with nuts still inputting nicely to the usual caramel, nougat and milk chocolate combination. On a note of personal preference I would have rather the nougat had been kept chocolate flavoured rather vanilla but this really could not be cited as detrimental at all on the product in the grand scheme of things. This is certainly a product that all Mars fans should try at least once if they get the opportunity. A nice twist on what it is a fantastic original.

8.2 out of 10