Moving on from Thorntons’ new and limited edition summer range reviewed recently, today I’ve got something a bit more traditional- Thorntons are semi-legendary for their toffee and fudge and it seems to have been around for as long as time itself. Their toffee is also very popular amongst dentists…for keeping them in jobs. It isn’t their toffee I’m reviewing now though, but their fudge- in the form of their fudge milk chocolate bar.
Thorntons Milk Chocolate With Fudge
I should clarify what this bar is exactly all about. There is only 10% of this bar which is actually fudge, with 90% of it being milk chocolate. So it is someway short of a Cadbury’s Fudge or something like that, in which the fudge to chocolate ratio is very high. This can be classed as a chocolate bar with some fudge in it, rather than a stick of fudge merely covered in a little chocolate.
The bar came in a 90g format, and- replicating the RitterSport bar reviewed 2 weeks ago- was square in shape. It’s always good to see a bit of variety, so I liked that the bar shape was out of the ordinary- the fudge milk chocolate bar here comes from a Thorntons range of 15 or so flavours which are all similar to this; square, boxed individually and traditionally styled. (Some of these other flavours- if you’re interested- include the obvious milk/white/dark flavours but also chilli, mint, pistachio and ginger.)
Bearing in mind the bar only cost me about £1.80 from memory, I thought that it was packaged quite nicely. Although it didn’t have the union jack and British theme had featured so fantastically on their summer range, it instead had a really nice traditional look to it. It came in an outer box, and was then additionally foil sealed.
The thought which came to mind whilst looking at the box though, was that this product is aimed at Thorntons’ more ‘mature’ customers! It is simplistic, traditional and ‘safe’. Not that there is a problem with that- Thorntons is a company which seems to be more successful amongst older folk than younger so it makes perfect business sense to have some products that are suited to that audience.
Having read on the box that the fudge content of this bar was a mere 10%, I had expected this bar to smell quite chocolatey. This was a case of David beating Goliath in smell terms though- the 90% of chocolate was barely even noticeable to the nose, such was the strength of the 10% of fudge. With my eyes shut, I would have assumed that it was just a bar of fudge on its own- there was no chocolatey scent whatsoever.
The fudge really did give off a lovely smell. There were a lot of caramel notes, some enjoyable creaminess as well as a sweet butter element present- basically what you’d hope for from a nice bit of fudge. For the second product review in a row as well (after the Lindt White Lindor on Friday) this induced some serious Christmas nostalgia- note to brain: it Is August. Christmas is in December. Please refrain from getting excited at the thought of Christmas for another 3 months at least.
It didn’t taste bad either, but this bar from Thorntons just left me feeling very underwhelmed. It was just a bit uninteresting and altogether ‘meh’.
The milk chocolate dominates the bar’s flavour- the packaging makes a bit of a big deal out of being ‘Papa New Guinea 35% cocoa’ but in reality, this is a very standard milk chocolate base really. Basically, it’s alright but not going to pull up any trees. It offered some sweetness but wasn’t very chocolatey unfortunately; more emphasis on the sugar than the cocoa here.
The fudge pieces were pretty little and embedded randomly but also quite evenly…every piece of chocolate had a couple of nubbins of fudge in it. I had high hopes for the fudge given the terrifically strong and appetising smell, but the taste didn’t match up to those expectation levels. There was a slight caramel flavour and the texture was nice and chewy. However it needed to come through stronger over the milky chocolate for me.
Both of the flavour aspects were ok here. But it just didn’t have any kind of ‘wow factor’ at all- it was a bar of ok chocolate with some ok fudge. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it and wouldn’t rush out to buy it again. It’s one of those which definitely falls into the ‘would eat it again, but wouldn’t go to the trouble of finding a Thorntons shop and buying it again’ category.
I don’t want to go too overboard on the harshness but it is bars like this which I believe explains why Thorntons are struggling as a company. Their summer range of ‘dessert flavours’ (Bakewell Tart, Banana and Custard chocolate and Jam Roly Poly Truffles) was exciting, interesting and innovative which is a good sign for the business going forward. But bars like the Milk Chocolate with Fudge bar reviewed today will continue to hold them back- it is lacking inspiration and just plain lacklustre really.
I’d encourage people to carry on supporting Thorntons- I certainly will be. However this particular bar is unlikely to astound you.