January 7th: Thorntons Chocolate Selection

There were a few murmurings during my Christmas coverage just past that I didn't focus on Thorntons as much as I should have done, which is something I will concede. It was only typical really that on Christmas Eve, on my last day in the work office that I received my company gift - a 456.0g box of Thortons Chocolate Selection :D I obviously didn't have the time to get a review up before Christmas, but I was able to take it home with me to share with the family - I'm sure you guys will find it knocking around the sales which started on the Thorntons website as early as Christmas Eve - SEE HERE

This Chocolate Selection comprised of an impressive sounding twelve different chocolate varieties, of which most were portioned three times. A number of the pieces included were ones that I had previously reviewed in the Thorntons Classic Collection, a product I wrote about for Christmas 2009. Where this has been the case I have given you my previous ratings (all of which were consistent!), and given you the link back to the review if you so wish to read my extended thoughts on them. For your viewing pleasure I have photographed all the chocolates again.

The packaging and presentation of this Chocolate Selection was a bit of a mixed bag. The exterior box was relatively decent looking, as were most the chocolates. All was not perfect however, as the menu for the inner varieties was annoyingly print of the side folds of the huge box lid (what a dumb idea!). I also wasn't that keen on the fake fruity smells emanating from the box - yes I'm looking at you Strawberry Velvet variety!!!

Almond Marzipan - This was a simple piece consisting of an exterior layer of dark chocolate with a almond marzipan centre. The dark chocolate melted with a nice smoothness, though it failed to ever really establish a sensible degree of cocoa flavours and more came across as an unsweetened milk chocolate. The marzipan filling was also somewhat disappointing with it's sugar focused flavours, the almond element failed to really ever established itself on the taste. Poor.

Creamy Fudge - ... Good ... See Previous Review HERE

Coconut Paradise - I initially thought this would be another link back to the previous review, but then I noticed that they had swapped the chocolate type for the coating. This really didn't impress either me or my sister. We both agreed that the creamier flavours of the previous white chocolate coated piece worked better than the milk chocolate on this one. The coconut filling was still very tasty, but it has to be downgraded I'm afraid. Good.

Turkish Delight - ... Standard ... See Previous Review HERE

Strawberry Velvet - ... Good ... See Previous Review HERE

Chocolate Truffle - This was unfortunately one of those truffles that looked ten times more appealing than it actually tasted. This chocolate was almost solely ruined by it's truffle centre, which was very poor in terms of it's quality. The initial pleasant cream and milk flavours of the outer white chocolate were quickly dominated by the gritty textured, sugar flavoured chocolate centre. It made the taste mono-flavoured and really very boring. Very Poor.

Honeycomb Crunch - The sound of 'crisp honeycomb and roasted hazelnut croquant' was something that straight away got my attention so I didn't hesitate in trying this one out. I'm glad to say it was one of the better ones in the selection. The small nature of the hazelnut constituents made them somewhat of a non-entity, but the honeycomb bits added a nice crunchy element to the the texture and delivered pleasant input to the milky chocolate making the experience a least a little variable flavour wise. Good.

Hazelnut Praline - It was surprising how Thorntons aimed to bring both almond and hazelnut to the party with this piece, yet ended up giving neither of the two :D The exterior white chocolate was again of a decent standard, but the filling inside was frankly abysmal. It had a rough, coarse texture (even for praline!) and tasted no different to the sugary filling of the Chocolate Truffle piece mentioned above. Where were the almond and hazelnut influeneces!? I couldn't tell you! Very Poor.

Lemon Parfait - Although not necessarily the worse, this was without doubt the most disappointing flavour in the box. Wrapped in a fancy gold foil wrapper I was really expecting a refreshing, creamy white chocolate, but what I got was yet another sugar dominated flavoured filling. The lemon fruit came through in the taste, but the filling was more fondant like in it's flavours and the initial creamyness was overshadowed by a sickly sweetness. Poor.

Country Caramel - ... Standard ... See Previous Review HERE

Layered Chocolate Classic - This was a layered solid chocolate piece and was one of the more warmly received pieces in the box. It was slightly annoying that the piece was so solid you couldn't bite off the individual layers, but when it was melting in the mouth it was at least noticeable which layer was most in contact with the tastebuds. You have to say it was one of the more attractive looking chocolates in the selection aswell. Good.

Creamy Coffee - ... Poor ... See Previous Review HERE

Overall by and large my family and I were disappointed with the quality of this Thorntons Chocolate Selection. All four of us unanimously agreed that far too many of the pieces tasted very similar, with overly sugar laden fillings being the main perpetrator for this being so. When you look at the actual selection of flavours on offer this is a real shame as the mixture of different types of chocolate are actually quite good. Unfortunately though, when you have pieces like the Chocolate Truffle, Hazelnut Praline and Lemon Parafait all tasting similar you know you have to be in a bit of trouble. Fundamentally this wont be the worst box of chocolates that someone will ever buy. On the flip side however, its hard to see what more it offers than something like the Cadbury Milk Tray or the Terry's Old Gold Selection. I wouldn't particularly rate either of the aforementioned boxes, which is a pretty poor reflection on Thorntons given they are supposed to be offering a more prestigious, upmarket alternative. I can't be recommending this I'm afraid.

6.0 out of 10