November 30th: Bits n Bobs November 2012

Welcome to my monthly 'Bits n Bobs' post where you will find some mini-reviews of some of the products I didn't feel quite justified a full JCM seeing to. Below you will see some of the latest releases from the likes of Burton's, Nestle (thanks @CybercandyLTD!!), McVitie's and Lindt.

Nestle Smarties Vice Versa (Canada)
Kcal 245 Fat 9.0g Fat(sats) 6.0g Carbs 37.0g (per 50.0g)

Huh!? Nestle Vice Versas???? Didn't you just review them last month I hear you ask!? Well my observant JCM readers you are correct! I did indeed review the recently re-released Nestle Vice Versas here in the UK - See HERE. What I have for you today though is a real treat, and it comes courtesy of my pals @CybercandyLtd who sent me these Canadian sourced Nestle Smarties Vice Versa - you can buy them on their site ya know ;-) - HERE. We all know I like to be thorough when it comes to my chocolate reviewing, so despite my not so great UK product experience, reviewing the Canadian sourced Vice Versa was an opportunity I didn't want turn down.

Lets start with the differences - Canadian vs UK. The first obvious disparity was the branding. The Canadian chocolates carried heavy reference to the Smarties parent brand and if you look really closely drop the last 's' in the Vice Versas name. Moving swiftly on to more important matters, the chocolates inside the packet were totally different to the current UK Vice Versas. Indeed it soon became apparent that these Canadian Vice Versa were a whole lot closer to the old style Vice Versas we used to get here in the UK back in the day. The candy shells were a lot thinner and the two chocolate types far more differentiated. The white chocolate had more of a sweet dried milk driven flavouring and there was a touch of vanilla on offer when eaten in isolation from the bolder tasting milk chocolate pieces. The chocolate quality was nothing more than average but by the time I had finished the 50.0g bag I felt they had provided a sufficient chocolatey snack. These Canadian Vice Vera weren't anything too special, but those unsatisfied by the current UK ones will certainly get their nostalgia fill from them.

7.0 out of 10

Rocky Fizzy Cola
Kcal 111 Fat 5.9g Fat(sats) 3.5g Carbs 13.2g (per biscuit)

Over the last few months I've brought you all a couple of reviews of Burton's new Rocky Chockas range (See HERE). Those biscuits are a line extension of the traditional Rocky's biscuit bars, a range that has seen very limited innovation down the years (See HERE). That was until now of course, and following suit with most other brands in the biscuit bar sector, Burton's have seen fit to produce their own limited edition offering for Rocky, the intriguing sounding Fizzy Cola bars. I found these on sale in Tesco on a half price £0.74 deal for a 174.0g, 9 bar multipack. They came described as 'shortcake biscuit with cola flavour cream fully coated in milk chocolate' - this unique proposition got my attention from the get go!

Aesthetically nothing about the bars looked untoward, and one would have easily have mistaken them for one of the original Rockys had they been none the wiser. The taste however was a different matter altogether. Unique? ... yes .....Cola flavoured? ... somewhat .... To my liking ... unfortunately not! Indeed I'm afraid to say I didn't particularly like these. The biscuit and milk chocolate elements were as expected, however the cola cream was not at all what I wanted from such a snack. In my opinion the cream was too aggressive in its 'cola' flavour and it created a sour, excessively cheap, sweet taste that reminded me of the god awful cola flavoured Hubba-Bubba bubblegum I used to chew as a kid. Credit where credit is due, it was nice to see Burton's trying something a little different, but by my estimation it wasn't a successful experiment that paid off. I most certainly wont be buying these again and I cant recommend you do either.

4.4 out of 10

McVitie's Dessert Temptations Banoffee Cake Bars
Kcal 144 Fat 7.4g Fat(sats) 3.8g Carbs(sugars) 13.7g (per bar)

My non-stop observing of my local supermarket shelves most recently led me in the direction of these new  McVitie's Dessert Temptations Banoffee Cake Bars. These Banoffee themed bars are one of three flavours that form this new range and came billed as 'sponge cake topped with a banana flavoured creme, a layer of toffee sauce, covered in milk chocolate'. The other two flavours, which I may review at some later date, were also present on the shelf, though it was this banana flavour that sounded liked the most exciting. I'm sure this wont come as much of a surprise, but I did indeed find these on an introductory £1.00 offer. At £0.20 a bar I thought that represented good value for money.

I hope my photo does it justice, but just in case it hasn't I must pass mention at just how inviting these cakes looked. As you will see in my cross-section both the layer of banana cream and toffee sauce were both very generously portioned and this was something that carried through to the taste. The base layer of vanilla flavoured cake and coating of milk chocolate were neither anything out of the norm though they did a nice enough job of carrying the inner fillings. Although visibly separated it was how the two combined which for me made these cakes a little bit special. The banana flavours were fruity and forthcoming (non-synthetic!!) and the toffee sauce delivered a well rounded butterscotch taste. I only seldom buy cake bars other than for reviews but I would happily buy another pack of these if I was craving a banana flavoured snack - worth checking out!

8.2 out of 10  

Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Bar
Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

Who doesn't love the odd Lindt Lindor truffle!? When it comes to everyday chocolates that you can buy in any old supermarket etc I think Lindor are one of the better options to go for if you are after an affordable box of chocolate truffles. Over the last five years I've managed to sample tons of different Lindor flavours ranging from the plain milk chocolate (See HERE) to the more obscure Stratiacella flavour (See HERE). Last August you may recall I even reviewed the Lindt Lindor Milk - a 150.0g bar format of the wonderful Lindor range (See HERE). New for Q3 2012, Lindt have seen fit to further increase their portfolio with the introduction of a smaller 38.0g bar offering.

I found this bar on sale in my local newsagent store where it was retailing for £0.69. Compared to other bars of similar size this was a little on the more expensive side, though the smart looking wrapper did at least look very premium and justified the price somewhat. The bar was long and thin and was divided into 6 separate blocks that were just about the correct size to consume in one. The milk chocolate was of the standard I expected and had a sweet cocoa taste with a very crisp, fresh tasting milky undertone. According to the wrapper these blocks of milk chocolate contained 'a smooth melting filling' to give the Lindor effect. Unfortunately I found the truffle sensation was almost completely lost - nowhere near as significant as the normal Lindor truffles. This for me was a big disappointment and I couldn't help but feel just a little cheated out of my promised Lindor experience. This bar tasted absolutely fine but I'm not sure I would buy this bar again due to the Lindor aspect not being totally delivered on.

7.1 out of 10