Thursday, 31 January 2013

Hotel Chocolat Valentines Day 2013 Discount Code!!!


We thought it only fair that we do all our non-Twitter readers justice by posting a quick pointer in the direction of the ChocolateMission Offers & Discounts page - See HERE!!

Yes folks this is just a heads-up to say that Hotel Chocolat have seen fit to treat all ChocolateMission readers to a 10% discount offer on all purchases over £25.00 by using the code CMISSIONSPRX10 !! See the Hotel Chocolat Website HERE

We aren't trying to sell our souls here, but if Hotel Chocolat is your destination for your special someone, we hope you get good use out of it.

If you are a @ChocMission follower then you will have likely seen our numerous tweets with this information already - sorry about that :-) .... how about some lovely photography of the Hotel Chocolat Lovebirds to make up for it :-) ... ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

January 30th: Kit Kat Japanese Collection - Reviews Part #2

Following on from Part#1's rundown of the first eight flavours in this Kit Kat Japenese Collection we today bring you Part #2. We hope you aren't sick of the sight of Kit Kats just yet as we now show you the final seven flavours:

Hojicha-Roasted Tea Flavour - This one was a very curious looking gold colour. The usual sweet chocolate had this very distinct, leafy, Jasmine tea like hint it's latter melt. If you have ever had the tea they serve at Chinese/Japenese restaurants after a meal you will know the type of tea flavours delivered here. Standard.

Wasabi Flavour - Full review HERE - Good

Blueberry Cheesecake Flavour - We loved this one. The blueberry flavouring was competent and the slight cheeseyness to the chocolate gave it more of a yoghurty taste. Very Good

Citrus Golden Blend Flavour - This was a nice mixture of orange, lemon and lime and all of these flavours were represented well here. The sharpness of the citrus fruits were a nice contrast to the sweet chocolate and we loved the funky orange colouring. Very Good

Cinnamon Cookie - Full review HERE - Very Good

Strawberry Flavour - Without doubt this was the worst Kit Kat we have ever tasted. It smelt artifical and horrible - it tasted worse. You couldn't pay us enough money to ever eat one of these again. Awful

Matcha-Green Tea Flavour Full review HERE - Good.

PHEW!!! We are done! In two days we've covered off all 15 flavours. Remember back in December 2012 we concluded the entire selection together was worthy of a highly credible 8.8 out of 10 rating. This Kit Kat Japanese Collection is well worth a look at for any Kit Kat fan. It has some incredibly varied flavours to offer and the majority of them are indeed very nice - You can buy it HERE @Jlist.  

Monday, 28 January 2013

January 28th: Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon

Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon Double Choc - Kcal 195 Fat 13.5g Fat(sats) 6.5g Carbs 17.5g
Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon Vanilla - Kcal 195 Fat 13.0g Fat(sats) 6.6g Carbs 16.5g

If it were up to the retailers here in the UK its likely all our seasons would blend in to one. Yes the departure of the Christmas seasonal stock saw the arrival of the Easter chocolates and we had sighting of Cadbury Creme Eggs as early as December 27th 2012. Some might say this is madness, though I'm sure some of us were just happy to have favourites like the MaltEaster bunnies and Cadbury Mini Eggs back within everyday grasp.Thankfully the arrival of the Easter stock this year has not just seen old favourites return, but also the introduction of some new lines in to the mix. One of the new lines on offer this year are these Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon, and they come in both Double Chocolate and Vanilla varieties.

Now If you are choco-geeks like we are then you will instantly be thinking - aren't these the Milka Ei eggs (See HERE) with a little bit of Cadbury's branding. Well folks the answer to that is essentially yes - there are minor discrepencies which we will go in to, but for the main part the concept is pretty much the same. These Egg 'n' Spoon are essentially chocolate eggs that contain a mousse filling. These chocolate eggs are contained within a novel cardboard egg box, and come complete with a little dinky spoon to scrape out the inner filling. Whether just re-branded Milka products or not, in terms of being Easter themed and well presented there is no two ways about it - these look great! In terms of size and proportion of outer shell to inner mousse fillings we found that the 34.0g eggs were entirely the same to the Milka EI eggs we have imported previously from Germany. In fact, presentation wise these didn't differ from their Milka cousins - without the branding differences it would have been esthetically impossible to tell the difference between the two.


When it came to the taste test we did detect some minor differences, and these came predominently within the chocolate on offer. Both variants, Double Choc and Vanilla had milk chocolate outer shells that were distinctly Cadbury chocolate flavoured. The melt of both was thick and longing in the mouth, and the taste was laden with sweet, sugary cocoa milkyness. One might say that Milka is much the same, which it is, however the little touch of nutty hazelnut was absent from these UK Cadbury eggs - its a question of preference whether this a good or bad thing. In terms of the fillings these were identical to their German cousisns and were light, wispy and created a lovely delightful mouth feel. The Double Choc was delicious predominently compounding the sweet chocolate flavour hit. It was the the Vanilla flavour which was our favourite though, with its added creamyness and sweet bourbon flavours packed to the brim. Both egg types were tasty, fufiling little snacks - we frankly expected no less!


Overall we are pleased to see Cadbury unashamedly 'copy' a Milka concept here and are going to suggest that even at this early date that these are going to be one of the best new products to grace the market this Easter. The differences between the two products from Germany and our UK offerings here aren't of great significance but the additional note of hazelnut in the latter do slightly bring our preference to be with the German Milka Ei's. We aren't going to let that cloud our enjoyment of these at all though - these Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon are very tasty, and Cadbury fans will be delighted with their purchase should they choose to dip into their pockets to buy some of these this Easter. We would really like to hear your thoughts on these - especially if you have previously tried the Milka equivalents. These Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon come with big time ChocolateMission recommendations.

Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon Double Choc - 8.4 out of 10 
Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon Vanilla - 8.6 out of 10


Friday, 25 January 2013

January 25th: Hotel Chocolat The H-Box Love Selection

10% off your Hotel Chocolat order sound good?? See HERE for details


Gather round lovebirds!! It's time to kick-start the ChocolateMission 2013 Valentines Day chocolate reviews! We are going to get straight to the good stuff this year! No messing around with the chocs that aren't going to impress that special someone! Everything you see in the next few weeks is going to be carrying a ChocolateMission recommendation - quelle surprise we start off with something from Hotel Chocolat ;-)

The team at Hotel Chooclat have again expanded their range this year, adding Valentines day variations to many of their most popular lines. One of their most successful ranges at the moment (so I'm told!) are the H-Box selections. This years Valentines themed red boxed collection carries the name Hotel Chocolat The H-Box Love Selection .... awww 'Love' ... how cute *ahem* :-)


The 130.0g selection comprises of 12 different chocolates and comes described as:

"An irresistible selection of our most loved-up recipes, beautifully presented to sweep them clean off their feet – including luscious cream truffles with sparkling champagne, the lip tingling zing of blueberries and lemon, the lingering warmth of caramel, deep chocolate mousse, melt-in-the-mouth pralines and so much more."

A lot of the chocolates you will be familiar with from various Hotel Chocolat collections that we have reviewed before.

The Salted Praline, Dark Mousse, Lemon Berry Tart and Caramel Praline Hearts are all truffles we have seen before from Hotel Chocolat. The Salted Praline and Caramel Praline are ones you should be making a beeline for should you be subjected to sharing. The Lemon Berry Tart will be a standout chocolate for those more inclined to fruiter options.


The Kiss, Blueberry Truffle, Soft Caramel and Dizzy Praline will also likely strike all as very familiar. The Kiss a delightful milk chocolate truffle, the Caramel as ever proving itself a ridiculously moreish little morsel of sugary, buttery, salty goodness - my we love their salted caramel!

Making their debuts this year we have four new chocolates.


Champagne Bellini - A sensational concocttion of creamy milk chocolate, a hint of champagne and an incredibly realistic touch of peach. This was very very good ... Superb infact!!

Dark Champagne Truffle - This was one of the stronger boozie chocolates in the pack. We loved the wispy appearance of this piece - the taste wasn't half bad either :-) The dark chocolate nicely subsided the strong, tarty champagne booze flavours. Very Good.


Black Cherry Truffle - Very reminiscent of the 'Hotel Chocolat Chocs To Chill Ice Cream Scoops' (bigger thought!!) with cherry ganache centres covered by rich dark chocolate. Creamy, fruity and packing a lovely cocoa punch. Very Good.

Amaretto Marzipan - Jim got to try this one the lucky boy!! His eyes lit up when he ate it! milk chocolate covering what Jim described as 'sensationally almondy marzipan with just a mild suggestion of warming alcohol'. It put a very big smile on his face. Superb.

Overall Hotel Chocolat have done the classic of keeping all the warmly received chocolates from other selections and previous years's Valentines boxes, and giving us another four very worthwhile additions. We have always said that the Hotel Chocolat H-Box selections are a perfect option for those looking for variety selections that don't carry the cost of the full-on Hotel Chocolat Collections. Well this latest Hotel Chocolate The H-Box Love Selection won't be seeing us go back on that recommendation. Once again Hotel Chocolat serve up a box offering a wide array of finely balanced boozie chocolates that more than satisfy the price tag.

8.5 out of 10


PLEASE NOTE:

If this H-Box Selection is striking you as a little expensive why not go for the smaller Hotel Chocolat 'For My Valentine' Selection or the Hotel Chocolat 'For My Valentine Pocket Selection (Pictured below!!) -  See HERE.


Both of these contain the Salted Praline, Lemon Berry Tart and Caramel Praline Hearts you see above!! The slightly larger 'For My Valentine' also contains the Dark Mousse!! Well worth checking out if you are looking to do things slightly cheaper this year!!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

January 23rd: Kellogg's Special K Chocolate Biscuit Moments & Chewy Delight

How are those January diets going ChocolateMission readership? We are now 3 weeks in to the new year and we are still recieving e-mails almost everyday requesting we look at some 'lighter' chocolate options for you guys. Apologies last weeks four day consecutive Kit Kat Chunky reviews probably didn't help matters did it ;)

Anyway, to make it up to you dieting folk we have today taken a plunge into the world of Kellogg's Special K to bring you not one, but two reviews of some of their latest products. The first is their new Kellogg's Special K Chocolate Biscuit Moments, the second is their also new Kellogg's Special K Dark Chocolate Chewy Delight bar. Enjoy the sights and the reviews:



Kellogg's Special K Chocolate Biscuit Moments
Kcal 98 Fat 2.5g Fat(sats) 1.0g Carbs 18.0g (per packet - 2 biscuits)

These new Chocolate Biscuit Moments bars came in a pack of two that collectivelly weighed 25.0g. On the wrapper these were described as 'chocolate flavoured filling in a biscuit, topped with a flavour drizzle' - a simple yet intriguing sounding snack. On the packet these looked pretty groovy, a nice cross-section picture showcased a plentiful chocolate filling and the vanilla frosting looked to give the outer biscuit a nice bit of decoration. In-hand however, the biscuits came across rather feeble. They felt light as feather, and the inner filling had an odd pale brown fakeness to it. The aesthetic complextion was unfortunately symptomatic of the taste test. The biscuit was more wafery than substantial biscuit - light, unfulfilling any degree of flavour. The chocolate flavour filling was also lacklusture. It wouldn't have satisfied even the smallest chocolate craving, and the gloopy innards more came off as sweet, sugar laden sticky substance rather than providing any real chocolatey flavours. As good as they sound we wouldn't recommend these.

5.5 out of 10



Kellogg's Special K Dark Chocolate Chewy Delight
Kcal 97 Fat 3.5g Fat(sats) 1.5g Carbs 14.0g (per bar)

Thankfully we aren't required to be totally negative Nancy's today :-) nope, we are delighted to say that these Kellogg's Special K Dark Chocolate Chewy Delight bars are far superior to the Chocolate Biscuit Moments showcased above. These 24.0g bars came described as 'high fibre mixed cereal bars with a chocolate drizzle, dipped in a dark chocolate layer'. This time around the picture on the packaging matched the actual product and the bar looked a replica of what was displayed on all the exterior packets. Although not the biggest bar ever, for 97 calories we felt like we got bang for a buck and were satisfied by the chocolate flavour hit delivered by the bottom layer of 'dark chocolate' that fused the upper cereal portion. Was it really dark chocolate!? No of course not! More unsweetend milk chocolate - it was fine and did the job of flavouring the wheat, bran and rice cereal with a mild suggestion of chocolatey goodness. These weren't our favourite cereal bars ever (Kellogg's Fibre Plus - See HERE), but for the calorie expenditure and on a basis of being value for money, we certainly felt like we got a satisfying enough snack.

7.4 out of 10

Monday, 21 January 2013

We have a winner ...


Hi All

The ChocolateMission team are pleased to announce the winners of not only the ChocolateMission Reader's Award 2012, but also the winning reader of the Ritter Sport chocolatey goodies!!!

We recieved a lot of entries with all your votes of your favourite reviews :-) thanks for the nominations and the kind words (that most!) in your e-mails. We can now reveal that the winner ... recieving the most votes from ChocolateMission readers was ....

This one seemed to go down very well with you guys - We should have probably have guessed this was a stick on winner given the amount of e-mails we got the day the review was published .... All asking 'Where can I buy this??' etc etc

Congratulations to Artisan du Chocolat!!

Also congratulations to .... .... .... ....

Mary Leonard of Sutton, UK who has won herself a lovely little selection of Ritter Sport chocolates.

Thanks again for all the nominations - more chocolate reviews and competitions coming very soon!!

ChocolateMission Team

January 21st: Kit Kat Japanese Collection - Reviews Part #1


Just before Christmas last year we brought you our verdict on this fabulous Kit Kat Japanese Collection, awarding it a stunning 8.8 out of 10 on the ChocolateMission rating system (See HERE). In that review we promised you all that in the new year we would give you a run down of all the flavours in the selection. I hope you like your Kit Kats as today we take you through the first eight :-)

Additional Notes:


Edamame-Soybean Flavour - Don't let the green colour put you off. The soy legume flavouring was very mild and added just a touch of saltyness to the sweet chocolate. Very Good

Pear Flavour - One of the more competent fruit flavours in the selection. The pear flavouring came across as more genuine and less artifical and more subtle than some of the others in the selection. Good

Red Bean Sandwich Flavour - Full review HERE - Very Good.

Shinshu Apple Flavour - This flavour had bits of apple actually in the chocolate coating which was a very nice touch. The apple flavouring was strong but it worked given the small miniature size. We liked it but we don't think this flavour would translate well to a bigger format. Good.

Brown Sugar Syrup Flavour - Full review HERE - Very Good.

Hot Japanese Chilli Flavour - There are very few instances where chilli and chocolate haven't worked together. This was another fine example of how the two marry up well. The slight chilli kick added warmth to the mouth feel and a peppery hint to the milk chocolate. Very Good.

Strawberry Cheesecake Flavour - Full review HERE - Good.

Purple Sweet Potato Flavour - We've reviewed sweet potato flavoured Kit Kats on this site before (See HERE), but none that were purple flavoured :-) Again, don't let the funky colour put you off - this was very nice indeed. You have to taste it yourself to really understand the salty, starchy flavours on offer with this one. Very Good

Be sure to check out the site later this week to see the other seven flavours reviewed.

Friday, 18 January 2013

January 18th: Snickers More Caramel / Snickers More Nuts

'Mars to release two new limited edition Snickers in the UK' - now if ever there was an e-mail subject line that got ChocolateMission HQ talking this was it! What could these TWO NEW limited editions be?? Brace yourselves for some disappointment folks! The Snickers More Caramel and the Snickers More Nuts are the latest additions to be welcomed to the Mars family. To be more exact, both should really only be receiving 'welcoming' returns, as they were in actual fact both bars that were in market back in 2010 and 2011 ... sigh ... where shall we start!??




Snickers More Nuts - Kcal 300 Fat 16.8g  Fat(sats) 5.7g Carbs 25.4g

What's different about it from the 2010 version (See HERE)? Well quite frankly absolutely nothing. The bar is still a 58.0g presentation of the original and boasts the fact that it has '10% more nuts' than a standard Snickers bar. Aesthetically the bar wrapper is a little different with a spot of very cheeky 'limited edition' branding. That aside you would be hard pressed to tell the difference both visually and taste wise with the extra peanuts not coming that much stronger at all!? As summised back in 2010, 'this limited edition doesn't take the bar any further in our estimation though neither does it detract from it's original excellence' - all we can add is ditto the 2013 version.



Snickers More Caramel - Kcal 281 Fat 16.6g Fat(sats) 5.3g Carbs 22.7g

Snickers Maximus anyone? (See HERE!!!) At least they bothered giving this one a different name!? Ladies and Gentlemen the Snickers Maximus from 2011 is back with a ba.... fizzle. This nougat-less Snickers offering is pretty much exactly the same as the Maximus, though credit where it's due it is actually slightly bigger at 54.0g instead of the previous 52.5g. The proportions of milk chocolate 31.0%, peanuts 26.0% and caramel 38.0% still hold true, whilst the overall taste is admittedly a more than satisfying concoction of creamy, salty sweetness. Despite the tastiness of the bar when considered in isolation, as fans of the nougat element in the original Snickers still none of us were convinced this change was for the better - opinions remained unchanged.

Overall both these bars would still score highly on the ChocolateMission rating system, however we wont be posting those scores as our overriding feelings are more of disappointment. The opportunity to have two new flavoured Snickers here is undoubtable, yet we got two re-releases of bars that were either impossible to tell apart from the original or lacking a key element of what makes the original Snickers what it is. Although retailing at only £0.59 each you aren't going to be break the bank giving either a try. Just don't be coming to us when you end up just as disappointed as the ChocolateMission crew were. Let us know what you think of these yourselves on Twitter @Chocmission - we might even retweet the best to tweets to @SnickersUK as they follow us :-)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

January 16th: Milky Way Berries And Cream

 Kcal 109 Fat 3.6g Fat(sats) 1.8g Carbs 19.0g (per bar)

Here in the UK, Mars's Milky Way brand is one that doesn't get much love. Unlike in places such as US where it is one of the bigger players in the Mars portfolio, on these shores it often gets dwarfed by the main Mars bar brand which along with the likes of Snickers, Twix etc gets most marketing attention. Luckily I have the likes of @CybercandyLtd who enable me to step outside my UK bubble and look at look at how some of these brands are represented abroad. Today I got the chance to take a look at the Australian version on the Milky Way brand.

As you will have ascertained by both title and pictures, the Aussie Milky Way bar I tried was their Berries And Cream flavour variation that came in a 25.0g serving size. Aesthetically the wrapper branding, product weight and overall presentation were very similar to our UK product though there was of course some variation from the standard bar with the Berries And Cream flavouring brought to life with use of a pink main colour scheme. I thought the bar itself looked cool when cross-sectioned with the white nougat decorated with a touch of pink at it's base.

Taking in the aromas of the chocolate I had slight concerns over what would be of the eventual taste as there were very obvious artificial sweet fruit smells emanating from the wrapper. Fears were hardly allayed by the non-mention of any real fruit content on the wrapper - thankfully this wasn't as big as concern as I thought it might be. Quelle surprise the outer milk chocolate was standard Mars chocolate you get whatever region you are in - sweet, milk based in flavour and altogether pretty average. The inner nougat had a nice texture and was a nice balance between being soft and chewy. Flavour wise it was also surprisingly decent. It didn't have the depth of malty flavours as say a 3 Musketeers bar, but it had nice vanilla flavour offering and the touch of tangy raspberry was not as fake tasting as I feared it might.

Overall as far as Mars products go this isn't one I would place among my favourites though it was still a sound flavour variation that exceeded expectations. As I said above I was fearful that the bar could be dominated by an overtly artificial tasting fruity element, however I'm pleased to report the nougat had more of a creamy taste and the berry aspect was much better than feared by the bar aromas. If you are after a wholly satisfying chocolate then I wouldn't be able to recommend this as a bar to be looking at. If however you are looking at adding a nice little extra to add to your Cybercandy orders then it is one well worth considering if it is nougat that floats your boat.

7.0 out of 10

Monday, 14 January 2013

ChocolateMission Awards 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, after a one year absence the ChocolateMission awards make a triumphant return. Below are our handpicked selections from all of the products reviewed in 2012:



... but wait a minute? Before we get into ChocolateMission's own picks, what about the most important award of all!??? Yes you guys .... the readers!!! This year you can have your own say by e-mailing me at Jim@Chocolatemission.net with your top 3 favourite products you saw reviewed in 2012. Everyone that e-mails me within the next week will automatically be entered in to a prize draw to win a selection of Ritter Sport chocolate bars. Get those e-mails coming in now! I will announce the winner of the 'Readers Choice Award' and the competition chocolates on the site next Monday 9pm (21st January).

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BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT/WORST PRODUCT:

This was an easy choice for us. The Mars Caramel that we got here in the UK in August was epically disappointing. The idea of taking the nougat out of a Mars bar never said like a good idea, though not even we expected them not to make matters worse by not replacing the nougat with more caramel. What were we left with!? A cheeky 'limited edition' labelled original Mars bar just with no nougat - to top it off was originally priced more expensive (though can be found in many a bargain/discount store throughout the UK now!!). A worthy winner of this award if ever there was one. Review HERE.

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SELECTION BOX OF THE YEAR:

This was a very hard one to pick what with there being several credible offerings from the likes of Artisan du Chocolat and Hotel Chocolat. The winner however is a bit of a left field one, or should I say Far East one :-D The winner of the award this year is the Kit Kat Japanese Collection. This was a selection box we reviewed just this December, and is a collection formed of 15 different limited edition Kit Kats that were created for specific regions of Japan. As you will see when we review the collection in more detail this week, not all of the flavours are amazing but the variety on offer is incredible and presentation of the product makes it an outstanding offering for any Kit Kat lover. Review HERE. Shop HERE.

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BIGGEST SURPRISE:

We had difficulty picking this one but settled for this fantastic offering from Artisan du Chocolat. Last year we got an insane amount of samples for Christmas reviews and this is the one product that sticks out in our minds. The Artisan du Chocolat Gingerbread & Chocolate House literally took our breathe away when we opened the packaging. The lovely looking box was only exceeded by the delicious dark and milk chocolate dipped gingerbread pieces that lay inside. We bought a lot of these ourselves to give to friends and family for Christmas - suffice to say they went down a storm with all that got one. Review HERE. Shop HERE.

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BEST NEW PRODUCT:

We debated long and hard between the Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo (we've eaten a lot of that bar here at ChocolateMission) and the eventual winner but we finally settled for the new kids on the block Mango Mystique. December 2012 we got our first look at their new Mango Mystique Mango Chocolate Truffles and we fell in love with them. We have a lot more reviews coming from these guys in 2013 and we hope you are looking forward to them as much as we are. They are an incredibly exciting new British based company with a good eye for good quality chocolate and exceptional mango fruit.  Review HERE. Shop HERE.

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BEST MISC PRODUCT:

This product also had a good shout for 'Biggest Surprise' as none of us here at ChocolateMission were expecting these to be quiet so amazing. These Oreo Birthday Cake Cookies were ridiculously good. These were one of many, many Oreo limited editions this year but they were by far one of the nicest. The execution of the cake frosting flavours within the normal Oreo creme had to be tasted to be believed. These were dangerously moreish and many a ChocolateMission e-mail was written to our US suppliers begging for more. Review HERE. Shop HERE.

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BEST OVERALL PRODUCT:


So here we are .... the BIG ONE!!!

The winner of the 'Best Overall Product 2012' here on ChocolateMission is .....

The Hotel Chocolat Jubilee Selection.


This box of chocolates encapsulated everything that was great and good about 2012 for us here in the UK. It marked a special occasion for us Brits with some of the highest quality chocolate truffles we've tasted. The selection included some of our all time favourites - the Salted Caramel, House Pralines and of course the divine Eton Mess truffle. It was packaged and decorated beautifully with no gimmicky red, white and blue British flags to be seen. Well done to Hotel Chocolat for making a classy, tasty offering that brings backs many a fantastic memory of 2012 - a worthy winner if ever there was one. Review HERE. Shop HERE.
 

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