February 19th: Guylian Opus Collection

Following my reviewing of the disappointing Guylian Trufflina selection box the other day I bring you the second of the two chocolate collections I got in that wonderful 2 for £4 deal in my local OneStop.

The Guylian Opus collection came described as an assortment of the finest Belgian chocolates and contained 8 different truffle pieces which were all portioned twice. Looking at the outer box just like the Trufflina selection the presentation was absolutely fantastic with the box cutting clean, sophisticated look making good use of the gold fonts and clear branding. Inside as you will see below most of the chocolates looked utterly fantastic and looked wonderfully crafted.

Below are my brief thoughts on each of the eight pieces (working from left to right in each picture) - ratings are from Very Poor to Superb.

Massenet - Unfortunately this piece was rather like the Trufflina chocolates I reviewed last week and had a really disappointing filling. The outer white chocolate substantiated a fine set of vanilla hint cream flavours however the inner milk chocolate mousse filling was dull and lacklustre in flavour. Poor.

Beethoven - This was a superb looking chocolate and was one that I was really looking forward to trying once I had read the billing of 'creme cappuccino cream'. What I liked about this piece was that the top layer of white chocolate could be bitten off and eaten before tucking into the milk chocolate constituents below. Disappointingly the inner filling was lacking in coffee flavours a little though the it did display a really fine soft texture that contrasted nicely with the crisp outer shell. Good.

Mozart - This was beyond doubt my favourite in the box. This chocolate not only looked great but it tasted like a dream! This chocolate encompassed an outer shell of white and milk chocolate filled with coffee hazelnut praline and a single whole hazelnut piece. The outer chocolate was wonderful and melted perfectly into an inner nutty hazelnut paste that was wonderfully complimented by a note of coffee. The taste was wonderfully capped off by the hazelnut which reaffirmed the woody flavour of the praline and delivered a wonderful crunch. Superb.

Gounod - If you have ever tasted the standard Guylain Seashell chocolates you would be very familiar with the taste here. Under the gold foil wrapper this piece combined a thick outer shell of milk chocolate with a wonderfully tasty hazelnut praline that sat below. It was a little no thrills and not on the adventurous side but you can hardly blame Guylian for sticking their classical recipe in the box at least once. Very Good.

Bach - On the back of the box this piece was described as Gianduja so I was really looking forward to seeing what sort of quality it could deliver. Unfortunately I have to say I was a little underwhelmed as it didn't quite offer the total Gianduja experience. To sum this piece up simply it tasted no different to the Gounod chocolate above but had a slightly smoother less gritty texture. Although this was fair it didn't have the melt in the mouth Gianduja qualities I have experienced before - I was left disappointed. Standard.

Donizetti - Once again this chocolate varied very little from Gounod in that it contained the same hazelnut praline filling, however had a disc of dark chocolate placed on top. To be honest the dark chocolate only tasted a little bit stronger than the milk chocolate that sat below, thus it tasted only a little different to the Gounod. Again this wasn't such a bad thing but it was a little disappointing to see little differentiation. Standard.

Puccini - Look at the marbled effect on the butterflies ... don't they look awesome!? When I had finally stopped admiring the craft work that had gone into these I eventually got around to trying the orange flavoured creme chocolates. Much like I found with the rest of the selection there was nothing wrong with the outer chocolate at all - it was creamy and packing a chocolate flavour hit. Unfortunately like many of the other pieces it was the inner creme that didn't deliver with the orange flavours not featuring enough in the overall taste. The fruit element was weakly implemented and didn't cut through the chocolate flavours making for another underwhelming piece. Poor.

Verdi - This final chocolate came billed as having 'smooth truffle filling' ... right just like the other half of the box then! Apologies for repeating myself but this was again yet another that had fine tasting outer milk chocolate but when it came to the cut and thrust of the inner truffle filling it was undoubtedly disappointing. Indeed the taste was smooth but it lacklustre in terms of flavours. Poor.

Overall whilst these offered a little more than the tedious Trufflina box this Opus collection didn't exactly sparkle. What is really frustrating with this assortment was that all of the outer chocolate constituents were really tasty - it was just some of the fillings were lacklustre in flavour and way too many of them tasted too similar. If you look at what I say about the Verdi, Bach, Donzinetti, Massenet pieces you will see that the story is pretty much the same for all four, and simply this just wasn't good enough for me. This is a bit of a shame as there are some real stars in this collection - the Mozart and Gounod especially stood out as high quality chocolates. Unfortunately for Guylian it is hardly like I can go recommending a chocolate selection box based on the fact I thought 25% were better than average. One thing I can say is that Guylian did well with the presentation and the collection had some real stand out chocolates. As well as they did in those areas, when it came to the taste test Guylian again came up a little short and didn't quite live up to expectations.

7.1 out of 10