June 14th: Green & Black's Raisin & Hazelnut

Kcal 556 Fat 36.9g Carbs 46.8g (per 100.0g)

We know we once swore we would never touch a G&B product again after our experiences with their Cherry bar, but it was hardly like we could go around turning down free chocolate. After reading our review (more like tirade!), against Green & Black's Cherry offering, reader Steven felt it necessary to get in contact to defend one his favourite brands. In his e-mail Steven made some very worthwhile points, it probably isn't correct for us to write off a brand based on one fowl experience. In a bid to restore faith in G&B, Steven said he would be sending along this Raisin & Hazelnut bar which he was confident would restore my former confidence - heres what we thought.

Despite containing a great deal of fruit and nuts this bar still clocked in at 100.0g and was segregated into the usual small sized blocks. We aren't sure why G&B bothered trying to split out the chocolate in any manner given when we tried breaking it apart the portioning of the hazelnuts and raisins largely determined the breaking points resulting in randomly sized bits of chocolate flying everywhere :) If we can positive about one thing G&B have done in the last year it has to be their new style packaging, which we think is a marked improvement on their previous design which was dominated by that disgusting brown colouring. Aside from the chocolate breaking in to random sizes the impressions created by both the quantity and smells of the plentiful fruit and nut pieces gave hope when it came to the taste.

Despite the great portioning of these inner ingredients the bar still comprised mostly of milk chocolate which took up 80% of the total constituents. The milk chocolate was formed of G&B's standard 40% recipe and we came to many of the same conclusions about it this time as we have done previously. In terms of taste it wasn't anything particularly special or distinctive but it did sound job of generating a chocolate flavour base from which the added fruit and nut elements built off nicely. The flavours generated by the chocolate were majoritly dairy based, though there was a sound enough cocoa element that lingered throughout the melt which has to be said had a nice soft feel in the mouth. As we expected the main flavour generation came from the hazelnut and sultanas which I'm pleased to say contributed their desired inputs to the taste. Despite their chopped nature, the hazelnuts brought a forthcoming savoury nut element to the party and contrasted the sweet fruitiness of the fresh, plump sultanas very well. Had the chocolate offered a little more richness we might have felt even greater satisfaction, though collectively we still felt pretty content with a 30.0g serving at a time.

Overall our experience with this Raisin & Hazelnut bar bared no resemblance whatsoever to my disastrous time with G&B's Cherry offering, thus our faith has been somewhat restored with the brand. Prior to tasting this bar we weren't expecting any fireworks from the 40% milk chocolate, which has to be said was pretty lucky given that it certainly didn't exceed expectations. Whilst the chocolate base was a little underwhelming, we have far nicer things to say about the hazelnuts and sultanas. They both contributed superbly to the overall taste and their contrasting savoury and sweet flavours inputs gave the average tasting milk chocolate far greater depth. All in all this wasn't the best chocolate we have ever tasted in the world, but it was good enough to make us reconsider our hiatus from reviewing G&B products. Green & Black's still aren't a brand we have much admiration for, but we will at least consider featuring them on ChocolateMission again in the future. Well done Steven :D

7.7 out of 10