This is a review that I thought for the life of me would never happen! A long, long time ago, dedicated ChocolateMission reader Thea posted a message on the request page asking me to review some chocolates from one of her all time favourite chocolate makers Browne's - a company hailing from Devon who make handmade produce.
I have to admit I wasn't the quickest off the mark with this particular request (naughty Jim!!), so it came to both my surprise and immediate disappointment when I read in March that the company had been put into the hands of administrators (See HERE) i.e. they were closing down - DOH! At this point I believed I had failed Thea and was destined never to try their chocolate.
.... That was until I was given these a few weeks ago ... a 180.0g assortment of truffles from none other than Browne's!?? .... So what did I do next? Well I did what any person would do in this 21st Century! I Googled it!! Here's what I found (See HERE). Indeed, Browne's had been saved by two local entrepreneurs who had just sold their brewing company - HURRAH! Browne's were saved and I had a box of chocolates to make my way through! All was right with the world :D
Pictured above - Orange & Kirsch
As I mentioned above these Assorted Truffles were gifted to me by a friend, and I was straight away impressed by the clean cut design of the box and the inner truffles which were similarly immaculate. The decision to include a menu in hindsight was probably not the best idea as it was inaccurate, but the thought was there at least and this is something that could be easily addressed in the future.
Pictured above - Rum & Raspberry
So what's going on with me randomly placing the chocolates throughout the post and not going into specifics on them? Well to save you all the feeling of wanting to reach through your computer screens and strangle me, I've decided not to write 'great tasting outer chocolate, superb mouth feel with the inner fillings, but poorly flavoured' six times in a row.
I could have honestly cut and pasted that for every single one of the six flavours on offer here. It was unanimously agreed by all that tried these (my old man and mother helped me out here haha!) that all three of the chocolate types used, the milk, dark and white were all fantastic and contributed exactly what was desired from each. The milk was creamy in it's cocoa flavours, the white was even creamier and vanilla noted, and the dark was richer and offered fine tasting unsweetened coffee hints. This was all fantastic, and it got even better with the revelation of the truffle centres which were all as soft as can be and melted luxuriously in the mouth. The issue with every single one of the six chocolates however was that the filling was just so under strength and lacking in flavour. This was made all the more disappointing as the mild taste contributions that were offered showed great potential - especially the fruit flavoured ones. For the record I would awarded all of these chocolates a Standard rating.
Pictured above - Strawberry & Champagne
Overall as glad as I am to see Browne's back in business I have to say I wasn't blown away by my first experience with them. Taking things from a positive point of view, there are a number of things that show they are a brand with massive potential. The presentation of the chocolates, the actual chocolate coatings and textural mouth feel of the chocolates were all superb, and lead me to believe that with a few minor tweaks they could produce something very special. Unfortunately there were little blemishes such as the inaccurate inner menu, which alongside the significant issue of the mild flavoured fillings made these more of a mediocre chocolate assortment offering than they needed be. I would be over the moon if you guys were not to be put off by my this review - please do try their chocolates and let me know what you think. If only to get behind a small British firm that has had it's troubles recently.
7.7 out of 10