Thursday, 24 June 2010

June 24th: Thorntons Dark Chocolate with Colombian Coffee

Kcal 523 Fat 33.2 Fat(sats) 19.5g Carbs 48.8g (per 100.0g)

In what seems like a bid to give UK consumers what they want, Thorntons have decided to continue to add limited edition flavours to their square bars range - Woohoo! Indeed, it was with great delight that last week I saw this Dark Chocolate with Colombian Coffee bar poking out from the usual selection on the shelf (it must be pretty new given that the cashier who served me didn't recognise it herself!). Long time ChocolateMission readers will know that I have a huge soft spot for good quality coffee flavoured chocolates, the Lindt Excellence Coffee Intense stands out in my mind as one of the best around - See HERE. This Thorntons offering sounded equally as good, and promised an experience combining 'dark chocolate with full roasted ground coffee from the finest beans in Colombia'.

This limited edition flavour came in a 80.0g size that I greedily kept all for myself. I find commenting on the packaging and presentation really hard to do given that I have written so many reviews on this range already. The design work varies very little from flavour-to-flavour, though I guess it could be said that the choice of colour used was at least appropriate for the coffee theme. The chocolate itself was maintained within a foil wrapper, which of course did it's usual fantastic job of keeping the chocolate in fresh, well kept condition. Not to my surprise the aromas that descended from the foil packet when unsealed smelt absolutely delicious, with the roasted coffee bean scents taking no time at all to wash over my senses.

There was only one way to eat this coffee flavoured chocolate, and that was of course with a freshly made, filtered black americano. Armed with my mid-afternoon/after dinner cups of energy, I didn't waste any time getting stuck in to this bar, and I consumed it over the course of these two different sittings. From the very first piece, until the very last I can reveal this was a very enjoyable and pleasant chocolate to eat. Despite the chocolate actually being billed as a little stronger (53.0% cocoa) compared to the Lindt Excellence Coffee Intense, I wouldn't quite say it was as full of flavour even though it was still delightfully crisp and clean in taste. Indeed the base dark chocolate had a nicely balanced cocoa taste that had notes of fruit and brown sugar amongst it's chocolate flavour hit delivery. The melt of the chocolate was wonderfully smooth, however there were some blocks where the roasted coffee bean particles seemed to have amassed which made the texture in some pieces feel a little rough. Speaking of the coffee element itself, unlike the poor distribution of the grounded bean bits suggested the coffee flavours were consistent and came through well in the taste during the latter development of the melt. I often complain that coffee chocolates can be a little underpowered, however the balance of cocoa and coffee impacting on the taste was well managed and was just about right for me here.

Overall this was a very decent chocolate bar, and was probably one of the nicest I have tried from this Thorntons square bar range. If I was to directly compare it to the Lindt Excellence Coffee Intense, I would say the Lindt product is marginally the better out of the two, though to be honest there really wasn't too much to pick between them. I think the Lindt bar just surpasses this Thorntons' offering by having a slightly fuller bodied chocolate, and by integrating the roasted coffee a little more consistently, which helps the smoothness of the melt. These very, very minor blips aside, this was a very well manufactured chocolate from my friends at Thorntons and is one that I will definitely be repurchasing before they cruelly take it away from us. I can only hope that Thorntons make the decision to keep this as part of the permanent range, if they do so coffee flavoured chocolate fans rejoice as this is one very fine tasting bar.

8.5 out of 10

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