September 30th: Lindt Excellence Dark Caramel

Kcal 493 Fat 30.0g Fat(sats) 17.0g Carbs 57.0g (per 100.0g)

Beady eyed ChocolateMission readers have been getting in touch with me for awhile now regarding the new Lindt Excellence bars that seem to have made their way to UK shores. Amongst the new offerings in the Excellence range we have the 'Lindt Excellence with a touch of Sea Salt' (See HERE), and this new Lindt Excellence Dark Caramel which I have to say I was rather excited about trying. The bar came described as 'Fine dark chocolate with crispy caramel pieces', a none to dissimilar sounding proposition to the superb Lindt Excellence Milk Caramel (See HERE). As one would expect I didn't feel all that put out having to fulfil this reader request.

Having been made aware of this bar by several readers (I believe Sam & Daisy were the first two! Well done :D ) I finally found it being stocked in my local Sainsburys where it was price aligned with the other Excellence Dark bars at £1.83. To my surprise despite the minor aesthetic changes recently made to the Excellence Milk bars recently, the packaging was styled the same as the Excellence range has been historically!? What an odd decision to update one part of the range but not the other!? Unfolded from it's silver foil confines the bar appeared fresh in state and plentiful with to it's crystallised caramel pieces.

The first thing I noticed when handling this chocolate was the real lack of cocoa scents being offered. What is usually a given with dark chocolates is that they present a forthcoming set of cocoa scents, however these were by and large missing in action aside from a smattering of chocolatey whiffs. I should have taken this as a sign of things to come, though the taste still by and large took me by surprise with it's lax flavour offerings. From the very first block being placed on my tongue I couldn't believe this was a Lindt dark chocolate as the shallow flavour depth was just totally unrelateable to any bar I had tried from them previous. All I can say is thank heavens for the saving grace caramel pieces, which lit up the mild tasting milky cocoa flavours with some sweet condensed milk like brown sugar flavours. The interest sparked by the caramel influence was enough to satisfy me to a reasonable standard, however this just wasn't the behemoth chocolate I was expecting it to be.

Overall on the balance of things I was pretty disappointed with what this bar offered as I was genuinely in the way of thinking that it might be challenging the upper portion of the ChocolateMission leaderboard. In a nutshell the 47.0% cocoa dark chocolate was lacking flavour depth and it created a very passive taste that had little life until the crunchy caramel pieces were munched down upon to spark some interest. My own personal perspective was that this bar needed a far stronger dark chocolate at it's heart so that the swing from the mature tasting chocolate to the sweeter caramel pieces could have been more emphatic. Unfortunately what we got here was more of a inoffensive dark chocolate that contributed very little to the total experience. I wouldn't write this off anyone's 'to try list' but at the same time I wont be pitching it as a solid recommendation.

7.4 out of 10