February 22nd: Lindt Excellence Dark Caramel with a Touch of Sea Salt

Kcal 494 Fat 30.0g Fat(sats) 17.0g Carbs 57.0g (per 100.0g)

Over a year on from my review of the Lindt Excellence Dark Caramel , I today got the chance to give the chocolate a bit of a second chance after its first disappointing feature on the site - See HERE. If you take the time to look back at my review of that bar in September 2011 you will see that I was mostly disappointed with the lack of strength and flavour delivered by the dark chocolate recipe. Since reviewing that bar then I haven't bought that chocolate since, though upon seeing this new variety today with the added 'Touch of Sea Salt' enhancement, I thought there was enough potential for improvement.

I found this bar on sale in Tesco where it had a shelf rrp price of £1.99 (I managed to get it on a cheeky 2for£3!!). As with every bar in the Lindt Excellence range the chocolate came in 100.0g size and was segregated into the traditional thin, branded square blocks. The bar was unsurprisingly well presented combining the usual sophisticated, clean looking Lindt Excellence fonts and on pack visuals. to good effect. Lookswise the chocolate looked no different whatsoever from the bar I reviewed a year  ago though with the only added inclusion being salt I was hardly expecting anything else.

Despite the lack of aesthetic differentiation there were definitely a bit of variation in terms of the taste. Unfortunately Lindt obviously hadn't been reading there ChocolateMission reviews :-) as my previous dissatisfaction at the use of their 47.0% dark chocolate was not addressed with it again the recipe used for this bar. The good news about this was that I did find the added salt element did bring a little bit more depth flavour wise, and the sweet and savoury contrast delivered had a little more interest to it than just the mild cocoa flavours on offer from the chocolate. For me the salt level was just about right and I felt that the buttery notes of the caramel felt a little more livelier than they had done previous. Three blocks of this as a serving felt like a good amount complimenting a mid-afternoon/after dinner coffee.

Overall I thought this was a better chocolate than the one I reviewed last year. The salt element was a very welcome addition to the mix and it did a job enhancing both the dark chocolate and crunchy caramel pieces. As far as chocolate and salted caramel offerings go I wouldn't say this was a spectacular one (I will leave that to the likes of Paul A Young and Artisan du Chocolat), but for the price it is certainly one worth consideration. Despite the salt helping things out, I still can't help but feel just how much potential there is if Lindt were to use one of their stronger dark chocolate recipes. We all know I'm a big fan of their 70%+ dark chocolates, this isn't a macho thing, I genuinely think their stronger dark chocolates are better (not always the case for all brands!). If you see it on offer give this Lindt Excellence Dark Caramel with a Touch of Sea Salt a try - you'll likely not be as fussy as me and enjoy it.

8.2 out of 10