The famous 3 Musketeers bar. I’ve seen it in American films, heard about it in American songs (mostly by crap Indie bands trying to critique U.S culture) and now I’ve seen it in my bag on the way home from my import store in Norwich. I was prompted to buy it after reviewing the Mars Bar earlier this week- I’m informed that this is essentially a Mars Bar but without the caramel layer. And as I enjoyed the Mars Bar, I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I don’t understand the name. I mean, it’s not a bad name per se, but this appears to be totally unrelated to the real 3 Musketeers (as in Dumas’s novel about D’Artagnan meeting up with some of his buds and running around with knives and swords. They wouldn’t have been allowed to do that if they were A) real and B) British. The reason I say that is last month in England an old blind pensioner got tasered by the police because they thought his white stick was a machete. I bet D’Artagnan and his three Musketeer mates wouldn’t have been nearly as effective with 50,000 volts coming at them…) Ok, I got briefly sidetracked there but the overriding point still stands- is there any kind of legitimate explanation as to why Mars have named this bar after a 19th century French novel without any link between the two?
I mentioned in the intro that I’ve been told the bar is a British Mars Bar but minus the caramel. But I’ve also heard it described as a chocolate Milky Way. And as the shining silver wrapper proclaimed that the bar was “whipped up, fluffy chocolate on chocolate taste” it did sound much closer to a Milky Way than a Mars Bar. By the way, don’t do an internet search for ‘chocolate on chocolate taste’ as the likelihood is that things will not end well!
Well the 60g bar appeared from the outside to be a replica of a Milky Way. It has those same zig zag lines of chocolate on top of the rectangular shaped bar. But it certainly didn’t feel like a Milky Way when I picked it up. For anybody who hasn’t tried a Milky Way, they’re so light and airy because of their ridiculously whipped nature that they’ll basically blow away in the wind. The 3 Musketeers was weighty though at 60g, and obviously much more dense. This is packed in, whereas the Milky Way bar is more akin to those people at supermarkets who only manage to get about 3 tins of beans into a gigantic bag.
Looking at the back of the wrapper, I was astonished at the sugar content. 40g of sugar in a bar that only weighed 60! That is a truly staggering amount and probably the highest amount of sugar that I’ve ever come across in a single serving bar like this. I’l mention as well that I was only looking at the back of the wrapper out of boredom because the front of the wrapper didn’t do a lot for me. I like the metallic silver wrapper to be fair, but the logo isn’t up to much and it doesn’t excite me in any way.
I’d be intrigued to hear from any American readers (please comment and help me out!) just how popular and available the 3 Musketeers bar is in the U.S. The reason I ask is because the Milky Way in England has a cult adult following and is popular amongst a lot of kids…but it can’t be bracketed with Mars/Twix/Snickers etc which you will find in just about any shop going and which are eaten by men and women, young and old, black and white, rich and poor alike. I don’t see a ‘whipped’ bar going down very well amongst the male market to be honest, but that’s why I’d like to hear from U.S based folk- are these really as popular as I’ve heard?
The 3 Musketeers really caught me out when I smelt it. It’s surprisingly rich. The more and more mass produced bars which are priced at 50p-£1.00 that I try, the more I’ve realised that a lot of them have the same generic, low-grade sugary sweetness when you smell them. Mainly because they’re packed with sugar and not a lot else. But despite the unholy amount of sugar in this, there was a tremendously chocolate heavy smell to it. My first thought was that it is a grown-up’s Milky Way…still plenty of sweetness like our version, but with more emphasis on chocolate too.
It had felt much denser than the Milky Way and that is definitely the case with the taste too. This is thick and almost chewy when bitten, and it doesn’t melt anywhere near as quickly in the mouth as our British alternative because it is much less aerated. I actually like it like that- this is a far more satisfying bar, as you really feel like you’ve eaten it unlike a Milky Way which leave me wanting another bar within 30 seconds of finishing the old one.
The centre of the 3 Musketeers is a nougat, but like the Mars Bar, it isn’t a nutty nougat but a chocolate alternative. There is a pleasant chocolate hit from the brown coloured middle which is indeed like the nougat part of a regular Mars Bar. I don’t know if Mars use exactly the same nougat recipe for both, but it certainly tastes similar if not.
There is an outer coating of milk chocolate too, but that’s a bit anonymous really. It doesn’t taste of a lot at all, although because it is only very thin, it flakes nicely as you bite into the bar giving your mouth a slightly different texture to enjoy to the thicker nougat.
The 3 Musketeers isn’t my favourite U.S chocolate bar by a long stretch, but it’s a pretty enjoyable and very credible attempt from Mars none the less. Is it a caramel-less Mars Bar or a chocolate Milky Way? Well, I’d probably say it’s both.
I much preferred it to a Milky Way myself. In place of the snow white coloured, vanilla-esque flavour is a browner and more cocoa led taste which works much better. That said, the consistency isn’t quite as lush as the Milky Way- it’s thicker, more compact and could do with melting just a little quicker and more smoothly to avoid it cloying.
As an overall package though, this is a very solid effort from Mars U.S.