If you have been reading the site over the last few weeks it is highly likely that you would have seen my review of Ritter Sport's latest flavour addition, their Espresso chocolate. When I was approached about reviewing that chocolate, I took the time to have a quick look across the entire Ritter Sport range, just to check if there were any glaring admissions that I hadn't covered yet. Looking across the last three years it appeared that I had done a pretty thorough job, with only two flavours missing from my collection. One of these, most annoyingly was Ritter's Cocos (coconut) flavour, which unfortunately now has been taken out of production. Whilst I unfortunately can't build a time machine to review that flavour, the other bar I hadn't reviewed was thankfully still in distribution, so today I have great delight in bringing you my review of Ritter Sport's Rum, Raisin & Nuts bar.
My contacts at Ritter sent me six bars of this flavour to sample (alot huh!?), anyone who leaves a comment with a correct guess of the bar's weight on todays review will automatically be entered in to a prize draw for one of three leftovers* - if anyone gets this wrong it will be beyond belief haha! Suffice to say both the packaging and the chocolate looked terrific, I hope you are enjoying the extreme close up today, I wanted to give you all a good view of the nuts and raisins! The glossy foil wrapper was not only nice on the eye and decent at communicating the flavour theme (albeit in German!), but it also did a sterling job of containing the delightful fruity chocolate run smells that burst out of the packet each and everytime the seal was breached.
If I can quickly point you in the direction of the review I wrote on the Ritter Sport Raisins & Hazelnuts bar I reviewed a few years ago, it is probably better that I write about where this bar differed to that original offering rather than simply regurgitate what I wrote back then. Fundamentally this chocolate offered much the same experience with the milk chocolate, raisins and hazelnut constituents altogether making for a terrifically tasty fruit and nut experience. Once again the milk chocolate wasn't the most profound in terms of quality, but it was fair in flavour and did it's usual job of carrying the inner ingredients well. The raisins and nuts delivered their sweet fruit and wooden nut flavours expertly, though I have to say the taste was taken a step further on by the introduction of the Jamaican Rum to fold. I'm no big rum drinker, but the integration of the liqueur in to the chocolate was magnificently handled, and was neither too strong or too weak. The fruity alcoholic taste was complimented terrifically by the warming mouth sensation it created. Quite simply it managed to tick the boxes in terms of enhancing both taste and texture, and made for a delicious, moreish chocolate.
Overall Ritter Sport may not always be seen as the most prestigious or up market brands, but the quality of this chocolate leads me to believe they could teach the likes of Hotel Chocolat, Thorntons etc a few lessons. As I passed reference to above, the quality of the milk chocolate you get with flavoured Ritter Sport bars does not compete with higher end brands, (I wish they would implement their new 35% recipe across their range!!) but one thing they generally deliver on is the quality of their flavoured fillings. This rum, raisin and nuts bar would be yet another glowing example of why they deserve such recognition - it was delicious in every sense. When I have tried alcohol flavoured chocolates in the past, I have often found that the spirits are too overpowering *ahem* Hotel Chocolat *ahem* or too weak, but the rum in this bar was nothing other than spot-on. It was flavoursome and created an impression with it's warming mouth feel, whilst still allowing full expression of the raisin and nut elements - it was almost perfect. I could go on for a long time rattling off superlatives, but it's probably best I just end with the statement that if you like rum & raisin chocolates you needn't look elsewhere.
8.8 out of 10
*winners announced at weekend. Multiple comments doesn't = multiple entries. Rules of this competition to my own discretion