The big day isn't even upon us yet, but I'm sure a number of you have been tucking in to all manner of chocolate selection boxes overs the last few weeks. One of the boxes that I bought most recently was this Terry's All Gold Milk Chocolates, a selection that came billed as 'a fine assortment of milk chocolates'.
I bought this selection in it's 200.0g form (also available in 400.0g) and shared it amongst some colleagues as work. The box included nine different chocolates, each of which were portioned twice and annoyingly only identifiable through a menu detailed on the inner side of the flip-top lid. Having been produced since 1932 I was expecting a classical style of presentation, however I felt the characteristics and decoration of the exterior box was more unfashionable rather than retro chic.
Below are my thoughts on each of the chocolates. As usual ratings are from Awful-to-Superb.
Truffle Intrigue - Described as a 'smooth milk chocolate truffle' this was one of the plainer sounding chocolates in the pack, and this proved to be exactly the case. Although there were textural differences between the outer and inner constituents there was no flavour development from the sugary milky taste offered from the start. Standard.
Caramel Nectar - Being a big caramel lover this was the first piece I went for. Texture wise the caramel felt fantastic on the tongue and had a very pleasurable soft feel. Whilst the mouth feel was great, the taste of the caramel wasn't quite as prestigious as it lacked the buttery, salted flavours I desired. Standard.
Orange Blossom - If there was one piece from this collection that I was expecting to be good it was this one (I'm alluding to Terry's Chocolate Orange of course!). I didn't get to try this one myself, but my fellow tastees who did said it lacked the strength of orangey flavours they were expecting. One commented that the outer milk chocolate was too thick and subsequently dominated the centre orange truffle portion. Standard.
Terry's Hallmark - This was the only piece in the collection that was portioned the once, and to be frank I had no problem with this. This piece was a pure milk chocolate disc. You may have ascertained already that the milk chocolate was generic in it's sweet milky flavours already. This piece felt more like a 'filler' rather than a chocolate included for a reason. Standard.
Roasted Nut Harvest - This was one of the few chocolates in the box which actually had a differentiated tasting outer milk chocolate. The hazelnut flavours kicked in straight away when the chocolate was placed in the mouth. The inner praline did little to take the taste further aside from making it sweeter, but the nutty taste at least offered more than the majority of the chocolates. Good.
Vanilla Flourish - I thought this was one of the more interesting sounding truffles in the box and I liked the sound of a 'vanilla flavour fudge centre'. Unfortunately the centre didn't not come as described, and was totally un-fudge like in texture and taste. Against expectations it was very soft and melted very quickly after first establishing a very fake tasting sugary vanilla note. It did not go down well! Awful.
Hazelnut in Gold - This piece was essentially the same as the caramel nectar, but with an added whole hazelnut thrown in at the centre. Of course this all sounded great in theory, but unfortunately the hazelnut in my piece was soft and neither fresh or flavoursome. The texture differences were nice but the taste was disappointing. Standard.
Strawberry Bloom - I have to admit I was expecting this to be an abyss of fake, artificial tasting strawberry awfulness but I was pleasantly surprised. The centre could have done with being a little more viscous, but the soft runny liquid actually offered a fair set of real tasting fruity flavours. The other tastee who tried it also thought it was ok. Standard.
Burnished Nut Brulee - This sounded like the fanciest in the in the box, but it was essentially the roasted nut harvest piece reshaped. It does confuse me when manufactures try and do this in their selection boxes, I honestly don't know who they are trying to kid. Again the hazelnut flavours were more interesting than the majority of the other offerings, yet it was still pretty unspectacular. Good.
Overall you may have noticed that the majority of the pieces in this selection box achieved a 'Standard' rating - I think this would be a fair reflection on the product as a whole. Comparing a selection box like this to one from say Hotel Chocolat or Thorntons would be a complete nonsense - the price difference between the products is vast, with anything in the region of £10-15 likely separating them. When you put this Terry's All Gold offering in that context you have to say that the value on offer is fair enough. None of the chocolates in the box were anything better than 'Good', and there was one token 'dud' in the form of the vanilla flourish, but what can you expect for just £3.75!? I wouldn't like to pick a winner between this and the Cadbury Milk Tray, but one thing we can safely say is that it is much better than the Nestle Dairy Box.
7.0 out of 10