June 6th: Nestle Blue Riband Milk / Dark

As a kid I was always pretty set in my ways when in came to asking my parents for chocolate snacks for my packed lunchbox. As long as I had either a Kit Kat or Twix I was happy, to be honest Nestle's Blue Riband bar never really made it on the radar. What with the brand also sitting in the 'chocolate biscuits' part of the supermarket, I until recently never even contemplated giving it a review on the site. One thing I simply couldn't continue to ignore though is the raft of reader requests asking me to review the new 'Blue Riband Dark' which was launched a few months ago. Whilst I was at it I thought I might as well give you my thoughts on the original milk variety as well, so today you get two for the price of one :D For those wondering I bought both these variants in 9 bar multi packs in my local Tesco - both on £1 deals!

I guess one of the reasons I was never drawn to the Blue Riband brand as youngster was because of the packaging. If you look below at the photos of both the variants you will see that both have pretty generic looking wrappers, and it can't really be said that either stand out in the visual stakes. Don't get me wrong I don't think there is anything wrong with either variety aesthetically, but lets face it they hardly inspire any great excitement.

Nestle Blue Riband Milk

Kcal 99 Fat 4.9g Fat(sats) 3.1g Carbs 12.9g (per bar)

'Crisp wafer biscuits covered in real milk chocolate'

This was the first of the two I tried, and I ate it like I did the dark with an afternoon cup of coffee. When handled the chocolate was noticeably quicker to melt my fingers and not surprisingly this was the case when it was in the mouth. In terms of taste both the chocolate and wafer offered exactly the experience I was expecting. The milk chocolate was thin in nature, but quickly established a sound typical Nestle, sugary, milky cocoa taste. Below, the wafer was crisp in texture and mild in terms of it's wheaty, brown sugar flavours. The layers of creme between the wafer didn't offer much in relation to the taste, however they provided a much needed moistness to the dry wafer constituents. The 99 calorie bar was reasonably satisfying for what it was.

7.0 out of 10

Nestle Blue Riband Dark

Kcal 99 Fat 5.2g Fat(sats) 2.9g Carbs 11.8g (per bar)

'Crisp wafer biscuits covered in dark chocolate'

To honest I could pretty much cut and paste a lot of what I wrote above to cover off the majority of what this bar offered. Focusing more on that actual differences, like I aforementioned the dark chocolate was slower paced in melt, which I personally preferred as it added a touch of longevity to the flavours in the mouth. The flavours themselves were again pretty much like I expected them to be for a mass produced 'dark chocolate' offering. The chocolate wasn't particularly ramped up in terms of it's cocoa emphasis, but it was noticeably less sweet. The lesser emphasis placed on the sugar from the chocolate was actually beneficial to wafer and inner creme constituents, as it allowed them to have more of an impact on the taste as they came through more strongly. On balance I felt the dark chocolate came across as cleaner and fresher, and just offered something a little different to the more generic tasting milk variant.

7.4 out of 10

Overall the feeling I got from the people that requested I review these bars was that the new dark variant was superior to the original - having now tasted both I would sign up to this consensus. As you will have gathered from my thoughts above the mains reasons I preferred the dark chocolate variant was because the wafer and dark chocolate complimented each other a little bit more, and the unsweetened chocolate flavours seemed to have better longevity than the milk chocolate did. To be totally straight with you, neither of these bars are going to be lighting up anyone's world, but for the price you pay they are pretty good for what they actually are. If you offered me either one of these or a Kit Kat, I would still pick the latter based on the fact the Kit Kat is visually more appealing, more exciting and plays the chocolate to wafer ratio a little better. If you do love your Blue Riband bars though and you haven't tried the dark chocolate variety yet, you should check it out - I would love to hear what you all think