I had heard of Beech's Fine Chocolate prior to being contacted by a member of their team; however I had never actually got the chance to sample any of their products; producing British chocolates in Lancashire since 1920 they produce a range of bars, filled chocolates and classic British creams.
I always feel that when first getting acquainted with a chocolate company it's a good starting point to try their basic chocolate bars; this allows me to get a good feel about what the chocolate company is about and what kind of offering they have on show.
So we'll kick things off today with a couple of Beech's milk chocolate bars and their white chocolate bar.
The first bar is their basic Milk Chocolate bar, containing a minimum of 30% cocoa solids it's a step up from your high street offering; the outer packaging looks relatively pretty but opening up the packaging inside the bar is quite a standard run of the mill format sealed in see through plastic wrapping. The chocolate has a nice clean snap and popping a cube into my mouth you can tell it has a higher cocoa % with richer cocoa tones and less of an overall sweet finish to the bar; however is it amazing - in all honesty, not particularly, it reminds me of the higher cocoa percentage chocolate used to make some Christmas decorations/advent calendars. It doesn't really have any complexity to the bar nor any real depth of flavour but is quite nice to just munch mindlessly whilst watching a film or sharing between friends if you're after a chocolate fix.
The other milk chocolate bar I was sent was the Milk Chocolate Anglesey Sea Salt Bar; again the milk chocolate has the same flavour profile as the regular milk chocolate bar; however this one has the addition of a light flavour of sea salt running through it. It's quite a mild back tone with the sea salt only really becoming prominent once you've swallowed some of the chocolate and are just left with the end of the melt. I maybe would have liked to have seen the sea salt a tad more prominent but again it's quite a mild bar with neither any amazing nor offensive qualities.
The final bar we're going to look at today is their White Chocolate Bar offering; I always think it's quite hard to pull off white chocolate as an upmarket offering anyway just due to the sheer nature of the product; it is nice to see that cocoa butter as in fact been used though as oppose to vegetable fat that you will see bulking out a lot of white chocolate bars. Again the bar is relatively inoffensive with a mellow creamy white chocolate flavour; it has a nice level of sweetness without causing that horrific throat burning sensation that overly sweet white chocolate can often cause. It maybe would have been nice to see some real vanilla pods blended throughout the bar, I think that it could have brought it up another level.
Overall a relatively inoffensive selection of chocolate bars, are they ground breaking? No. However I would say they sit in a section between the likes of your commercial bars with minimum cocoa % and slightly more upmarket high street offerings - such as Lindt. This is kind of where it makes it a bit difficult for me as I can't see a situation in which I would actually purchase the product - if I want something really sweet I'd go for a low end product, if I want something super indulgent and rich them I'm inclined to go to an artisan chocolate shop, an upmarket high street offering. Nevertheless for the price they make a tempting option and their British heritage USP is a nice additional extra. I can imagine these are the type of chocolate bars that I might pick up for an older member of my family for a nice little gift option.
Taste - 5.2/10 - Not bad but not amazing either. Run of the mill chocolate bars.
Texture - 6.2/10 - Smooth creamy melts.
Appearance - 6/10 - Outer packaging is nice, inner packaging and mould of bar could be brought up slightly.
Price - 6.5/10 - At £1.50 per 60g bar they are pretty good value.
Overall - 6/10 - Worth trying if you fancy something with a bit of higher cocoa % without blowing out too much cash.
WHO FOR?I think these are chocolate bars the older generation would probably appreciate especially with the origin and history of the product.
WHERE TO BUY?
The bars can be purchased online here.