Tuesday, 15 June 2010

June 15th: Aero 70% Cocoa

Kcal 250 Fat 16.0g Fat(sats) 10.0g Carbs 21.0g

Now I am not going to start out this review by boldly claiming that I have a great understanding of the Canadian confectionery market because I simply just don't. Being all the way over the pond, it is a market I feel quite removed from, however one thing I have noticed is that dark chocolate is becoming increasingly more popular in Canada if their NPD (new product development) is anything to go by. If you look at the latest products to be released by Nestle you will see that all of them follow quite a consistent theme, and this dark chocolate Aero is a perfect example of what is now on offer. After pulling a few strings I was able to track down a sample to try for myself and I was intrigued as to what sort of quality this dark chocolate was going to be.

On the face of things this Aero 70% cocoa looked no different to either the original or mint variants that are readily available here in the UK and it weighed exactly the same at 42.0g. Indeed even the packaging was remarkably similar with only the bold looking 70% gold logo providing an aspect of differentiation from the other two flavours in this medium bar range. Conversely the actual chocolate itself was slightly different and the patterns etched into the surface of the bar indicated that the chocolate should be consumed in smaller blocks. Given this was a dark chocolate bar this did make sense, however the bar wasn't easy to split up into the sizes indicated which was more than a little annoying.

Once I had mastered the task of breaking the chocolate up I took a smell of the chocolate and it was at this point I started taking its potential seriously. In terms of aromas the chocolate smelt far stronger than I expected and it really gave an insight in to the taste that I was about to experience. Getting straight to crux of things this chocolate really surprised me in the quality of the flavours I experienced. The taste was far deeper than I was expecting and whilst it didn't provide the progressiveness of flavours of some of the more premium chocolates it was still relatively tasty nonetheless. Far removed from the mass consumer friendly experience I was expecting the taste had a fair volume of unsweetened cocoa flavours with notes of coffee, smoke and a dash of sugar to round of the taste nicely. In terms of the aerated texture it really delivered in line with expectations and it provided the desired bubbly experience to further spicen things up a bit. All in all, despite the quick melting nature of the chocolate it still served to be a satisfying snack - one might want to check out the nutritional values though as they don't happen to make happy reading for dieters.

Overall I have to admit before I ate this chocolate that I was very sceptical indeed as to what sort of quality Nestle were going to produce here. If you look at some of the products currently on the global market there isn't much to inspire confidence in a mass produced dark chocolate. More often than not these products end up simply being unsweetened versions of milk chocolate predecessors but thankfully Nestle didn't hold back in terms of flavour strength half as much as what I expected and to my surprise they have produced a good dark chocolate. As I described above the taste was far more complex and rich than I thought it would be and it was so much the better for it. There isn't much in the way of true innovation or 'new news' here, but if this 70% bar is price aligned with the rest of the Aero range (which I think it is!) I would strongly suggest you give it a try.

8.3 out of 10

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