March 30th: Ritter Sport Bourbon Vanille

Kcal 578 Fat 39.g Carbs 51.0g (100.0g)

Over the course of the last two years I have managed to review over 40 different varieties of Ritter chocolates. The last few months I have had to rely on some of my loyal readers to provide me with the latest Ritter varieties (thanks Susie, Susanne and Fran!!) what with the demise of my old pals at Dean-German-Grocery. Luckily for me now Ritter Sport themselves have discovered ChocolateMission, and have started sending me samples of the latest flavours to hit the market. Over the coming weeks I will be reviewing Ritter's latest Spring varieties, starting today with this Bourbon Vanille offering.

Anyone experienced with Ritter chocolates will know that it is very unusual for Ritter to stray away from their 100.g formant, so it wont surprise you to hear that the new Spring collection sticks to this very size. Packaging and presentation wise the wrapper struck me as very fresh feeling, and I liked how the vanilla flavouring was communicated through the simplicity of the small vanilla pod picture and yellow pastel colouring. When the resealable packet was first unzipped a prominent sweet floral smell wafted out, though it grew noticeably weaker by the day when it was left to air between sittings. Out the packet the chocolate itself looked relatively appetising with the pale yellow filling taking a nice proportion of the cross-section.

I am a huge fan of all things vanilla - so much so that when offered a choice between things like chocolate or vanilla flavoured milkshakes or ice cream, I would always go with the latter. With this knowledge in tow you can probably understand that I was massively looking forward to try this chocolate, especially when Ritter Sport have proven themselves to be good at a wide variety of different filled chocolates. The sound of 'milk chocolate with a bourbon-vanilla creme' literally had me drooling in anticipation, but I have the bad news of informing you that it wasn't quite as good as I thought it was going to be. The milk chocolate was everything you would expect from Ritter Sport and was it's usual unspectacular self. It was relatively forthcoming in cocoa flavours with a undercurrent of milk tones that made for a smooth, but average milk chocolate experience. Whilst that sounds a little uninspiring it was the vanilla filling that let it down for me, which is something I wasn't expecting to have to write. The creme initially had a strong vanilla essence impact in the mouth, but it was soon dominated by an overbearing level sweetness that made it redundant. The levels of sugar in the taste made this a chocolate that wasn't particularly nice eating in large quantities, and though I did finish the entirety of the bar eventually, it took me over 4 sittings to do so.

Overall I don't know if this was just a consequence of me expecting too much from this flavour, but I was massively disappointed with it. With all Ritter Sport varieties the chocolate is never meant to take centre stage so it is understandable that the average milk chocolate on offer acted just as a vehicle to carry the inner filling. As I stated above the real disappointment came in the execution of the vanilla filling, which for me was under par in comparison to most of the other Ritter Sport offerings that I have reviewed down the years. The bourbon vanilla was there in the first few moments of the filling being exposed, however it's longevity was cut short by the dominance of the sugar, which made it a relatively bland and one dimensional experience by Ritter Sport's standards. It would be interesting to hear what any of you readers thought of this bar, as perhaps this is me being harsh on something that I just had undeliverable expectations for. There are still two more flavours from the Spring collection to come - lets hope they are a little bit better than what was on offer here.

6.9 out of 10