The Packaging: To be honest I wasn't particularly wowed by the packaging but the clear plastic viewing panel allows you to see these delectable little chocolates. I hope I wasn't being a bit dumb but I thought the chocolates might slide out on the tray. I was wrong after much tugging I decided to gently tip them out on to the table. Well it's what's inside that's important which probably applies to lots of things in life.
The Chocolates: There are 24 bars weighing 15g each and there are 8 different chocolates including: Dark Chocolate with Cherries; Dark Chocolate with Ginger; Dark Chocolate 70%; White Chocolate with 30% Cocoa Solids; Milk Chocolate with 34% Cocoa Solids; Creamy Milk Chocolate with 32% Cocoa Solids; Milk Chocolate with Butterscotch; Milk Chocolate with Almonds.
I don't think I've ever tasted eight chocolates in a row before but somebody has to do it. I'm trying to be very careful and even have a glass of water to cleanse my mouth after each little chunk has been tasted. At this rate I'll never sleep tonight.
Dark with Cherry: Smooth dark chocolate 60% cocoa solids with delicious organic sour cherries give it that extra edge and zing which flows through to the end. I like this and so it seems does everybody else as we're down to the last little slab.
Dark with Ginger: Sweet dark chocolate 60% cocoa solids with crystallized ginger which is a bit lack lustre for me but it's still agreeable and is well balanced. I just like my ginger to have a bit of power.
Dark: Intense dark chocolate with a slightly smoky, woody aroma. This 70% dark chocolate has a good fruity flavour with an excellent finish. Just how I like it!
White: As you're probably aware white chocolate does not contain any cocoa. However it has cocoa butter (30%) and sufficient to make this a very creamy sweet but not unpleasant chocolate. A sprinkling of Vanilla seeds adds to the flavour. I still haven't found a white chocolate that competes with ICOA from El Rey. I think this bar could have been improved with the addition of some freeze dried fruit such as raspberries to take the edge off the sweetness.
Milk Chocolate 34%: Good cocoa flavour with a rich smooth texture that is not overly sweet and lasts. Honey and caramel flavours coming through on this one.
Milk Chocolate 32%: You wouldn't believe it but 2% less cocoa makes a lot of difference. For me there is a giant chasm in terms of flavour between the 34% and 32%. Not only is it lighter in colour but it also lacks the depth of flavour found in the other milk bar. It is also a bit overly sweet and it catches the back of your throat.
Milk Chocolate with Butterscotch: Rich creamy milk chocolate 34% cocoa with little chunks of butterscotch scattered amongst the bar provides that extra crunch. Being a fan of Toblerone I instantly like this. I did share this with others and they found it a bit too sweet. Oh well more for me.
Milk Chocolate with Almonds: Lovely cocoa aroma, 37% cocoa solids help match the organic almonds which have been finely diced to produce a fantastic nutty bar of chocolate. Again very much like Toblerone and strangely this is the one I've eaten more of.
Overall I give this selection pack 8/10 for dishing up a good range of chocolates that has something for everybody. None of the flavours are over the top and this is a great starter pack if you're into chocolate tasting. Ideal for sharing especially at the end of a meal or and even more so now that Christmas is only just round the corner.
You can purchase this selection pack of premium bars from most supermarkets and independent retailers from September 2010 and it is priced at a £8.99.
If you liked this review you might like these other bars:
Dark Chocolate with Sour Cherries
Dark Chocolate with Mint Fondant