August 4th: Whittaker's Milk Madagascar / Rum & Raisin

Whittaker's is a brand that continues to puzzle me. If you look back through my previous reviews you will see that I have generally loved their chocolates - their Peanut Block and Zestful Dark Orange bars particularly stand out in my mind as being memorable. My ongoing bemusement is a consequence of me continually failing to understand why the brand is very seldom heard of outside of the Southern Hemisphere. If you look across the blogosphere you wont happen to come across many Whittaker's posts or reviews, which suggests that consumer awareness of the brand isn't as good as it should be given the product quality. In a bid to put this right (one man mission style!), I today have the pleasure of bringing you my thoughts on two more flavours within their range - the Milk Madagascar, and the Rum & Raisin.

Both these bars were sent to me in 250.0g forms so I called in reinforcements to help me with the taste tests (they needed very little persuasion haha!). Just as I always say about Whittaker's products, the packaging on both was top notch, with both sporting the usual primary coloured gold background. Out of the two my preference was with the more visually striking blue colour of the Milk Madagascar, though I would happily concede that the slightly old fashioned purple colour was a fitting choice for the more retro Rum & Raisin flavour. Below are my thoughts on each of the bars I tried today:

Whittaker's Milk Madagascar

Kcal 532 Fat 29.7g Fat(sats) 18.9g Carbs 57.7g (per 100.0g)

'Extra smooth milk chocolate block'

I have to admit that what with all the different flavour combinations I try nowadays the prospect of a 33% cocoa milk chocolate wasn't the most exciting one ever - oh how I was to be surprised!!! Undressing this chocolate from it's thick gold foil sheath, I was immediately met with a fantastic array of fresh smelling dairy aromas. These forthcoming scents foretold an entirely accurate insight to the taste, which I have the great pleasure of tell you was utterly sublime. The flavours started rather mild and milky in presence, though they grew and grew in stature as the wonderful, Galaxy chocolate like smooth melt developed. The initial milk rooted taste sprouted flavour notes of butter, fudge and sweet cocoa to generate a level of flavour that was up there with the finer milk chocolates I have tasted. The buttery creaminess gave it a very distinctive taste which everyone that I tried this with, thought was superb. In a world that is cluttered with milk chocolates, uniqueness is so important (think Dairy Milky, Hotel Chocolate etc) - this Whittaker's Milk Madagascar certainly had it in spades.

8.6 out of 10

Whittaker's Rum & Raisin

Kcal 502 Fat 27.0g Fat(sats) 15.7g Carbs 60.9g

'Rum soaked raisins in a dark chocolate block'

I don't review a rum & raisin chocolate for years and then two come along in the same week (See Ritter Sport Rum, Raisin & Nut), it's funny how these things work out. Out of the two Whittaker's bars I was sharing around and trying myself for today's review, this was the flavour that everyone generally reached for first. This bar constituted of 47% cocoa solids dark chocolate, with raisins that had been soaked in rum (28%). On the ingredients list the raisins sounded very plentifully portioned, though it was certainly believable when I split the bar into smaller pieces upon where the raisins were clearly visible poking out of each and every block. Up until this point everything looked all dandy, however I was left pretty disappointed when it came to the taste test. Flavour wise the dark chocolate itself didn't have anything wrong with, though it has to be said it was a little mild in both it's milk and cocoa flavours. The taste was dominated by a fruity flavour edge which was established by the raisins. This fruitiness was fine, but was ultimately one dimensional and monotonous, and needed the rum influence to come to the party in order to progress the taste. Unfortunately the rum was totally MIA to extent that I just couldn't detect it whatsoever. Disappointingly this bar just left me yearning for the Ritter Sport offering I reviewed last week.

6.9 out of 10

Overall despite my more mixed experiences with Whittaker's today, I still stand by the point I made in my opening paragraph that they deserve to be far more well renowned. If you are thinking of doing a bit of online shopping for some Whittaker's chocolate (HERE) I would strongly suggest the Milk Madagascar as a perfect way to introduce you to the brand. It may not sound like the most exciting of chocolates ever, but I can assure you it is a delicious milk chocolate that is up there with the best of them. In regards to the Rum & Raisin I would advise you hedge your bets elsewhere with the brands range.