July 22nd: Lindt Nocciola

Kcal 574 Fat 37.0g Carbs 52.0g (per 100.0g)

One week on from my Lindt Eiscafe escapades, I today had the delight of trying yet another of Lindt's 2010 summer range collection. The flavour I'm showcasing today is this Nocciola variety (say Nocciola out loud it sounds beautiful don't you think!?), which came described as 'white chocolate with a hazelnut cream centre, and sugared hazelnut pieces'. Talk about me being slow, but I've only just noticed that all of the variants in Lindt's latest summer range are based on well known ice cream flavours. The integration of chocolate and hazelnuts wasn't exactly new to me, but I was hoping that this combination was going to make for a tasty, refreshing summer offering.

Just as the other flavours from the range, this came in a 100.0g tafel (tablet) form, which was split in to ten large sized blocks that were similar in stature to Lindt's Mousse range. Again the packaging and presentation looked first class, with the decorative silver panels located at the top and bottom of the box establishing both a sense of premiuimness as well as a vibrant summer feel. Another good thing to see aesthetically was that in reality the chocolate looked accurate in construct to what was featured on the outer box. Cutting in to one of the pieces revealed that the white chocolate was just as thick as depicted, whilst the small fragments of hazelnut were also visible dispersed throughout. Whilst the product made a good impression on me visually, the scents on offer were a little less remarkable with just mild sweet dairy and nut aromas detectable when closely inspected.

For those of you that have read the site for an extended time you will likely be aware that I'm a big advocate of Lindt's white chocolate and their cream laden, vanilla noted chocolate didn't fail to impress yet again. Just as I have experienced in the past the taste was delightfully smooth flowing in it's milky flavours, with the vanilla bourbon secondary flavour increasingly growing in prevalence as the melt developed. The white chocolate was supposed to be just the beginning of the flavour experience, and I was really expecting some strong nutty influences from hazelnut cream and sugared hazelnut elements. Reality was that both these constituents were a little more passive than my prior expectations, with the strength of the hazelnut flavours considerably varying from piece-to-piece. In some blocks the woody hazelnut element came through strongly, and nicely enhanced the initial creamy flavour base. On the contrary, some other blocks were far milder in terms of their nutty contributions to the taste. This at times left me a little frustrated with the volume of flavours on offer, and didn't leave me feeling as satisfied as I would have done had it been more consistent in it's hazelnut delivery.

Overall this was another fair to good Lindt offering, however just like I thought about the Eiscafe variety the other day I felt like it was a bar they could have executed a little better. Totally in line with what I experienced with the Eiscafe, the packaging, presentation and quality of the white chocolate was absolutely superb. Unfortunately it was just the filling that was lacking a little in prestige and didn't live up to the standards set by the aforementioned attributes. Speaking of the filling in more detail, the obvious issue for me was the nature in which the nuts were implemented. The hazelnut cream itself wasn't that bad, as it just built upon the milky flavours generated by the white chocolate, whilst also bringing the first minor suggestions of hazelnut to the taste. Where I think the filling failed somewhat was with the decision to incorporate small fragments of hazelnut as opposed to wholenuts. Personally I think the nut flavours would have come through far more strongly had they been implemented in this fashion - I even think just one solus hazelnut piece to each block would have done a better job of creating a flavour impact as opposed to the scattering of tiny hazelnut fragments as done for this Nocciola bar. My witterings on here may sound like I had a negative experience bar but that couldn't be further from the truth. At the heart of the matter this was still a delicious white chocolate offering, however it's minor shortcomings stand out as things that could easily improve it with a few minor refinements.

7.5 out of 10