Tim Tam Chocolicious Velvet Mudslide

June 11, 2016 at 18:41 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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Finally, I get around to writing tim tam velvet mudslide packthis one up. The last in the quartet of new Tim Tam flavours, based on ‘virgin’ cocktails. Not an actual Tim Tam, but a variety of the rather good ‘Chocolicious‘ line.

When I first reviewed the Chocolicious line, I noted that when you open the packet you get a strong smell of spirits – so I suppose it’s only natural to make use of that in a version inspired by a vodka cocktail.

tim tam velvet mudslide biscuitThese are good, ladies and gentlemen. Not quite as good as the dark chocolate ones, but pretty close. They are very grown-up and moreish, with a hint of coffee in in the truffle and a rich chocolate flavour. I liked them, and ate most of the packet in one go.

I’m going to give them an eight out of ten. Definitely the best of the ‘mocktail’ bunch.

 

Chocolicious Bites – Original

June 7, 2014 at 11:23 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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chocolicious_original_packIn a quite extraordinary turn of events, I just found this review languishing in my drafts folder. I say ‘review’, but really it was just this pack picture and a few notes. Unfortunately, it was so long ago that I last had an ‘original’ chocolicious bite i can barely remember it. I have, on the other hand, chomped through many packets of the dark chocolate variety, which should tell you something.

Of course, calling a new product ‘original’ is a bit of an oxymoron. What Arnott’s are trying to do is to leverage the ‘original’ Tim Tam product, so one would expect something with a similar construction and taste.

According to my notes and distant memories, this is exactly what they have achieved. these taste pretty much like regular Tim Tams, just bite-sized and in a fancy pack. So they are really quite OK, but lack all the sophistication of their dark chocolate brethren. Given they are more expensive than regular Tim Tams though, I’d suggest that if you are after an Original Tim Tim hit, just go and buy some Original Tim Tams.

So in summary, these are quite OK, but nothing interesting or special. A solid seven out of ten.

 

Chocolicious Bites – Gooey Caramel

December 17, 2013 at 11:28 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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chocolicious_caramel_packHaving looked at the Dark Chocolate variant of this new line a few weeks ago, I thought it was time to turn my attention to one of the others in the range- in this case the ‘gooey caramel’ version.

Now, as you may recall my previous encounters with caramel Tim Tams has not been all that successful in large part because what was gooey caramel was falsely advertised as ‘chewy’.

I’m glad to say that Arnott’s have clearly been reading my blog, as this new range casts no illusions – we are told up-front that the caramel is going to be gooey.

But just how gooey will it be? Well, as it happens, not especially gooey. Yes, it is gooey, but I’d say no more gooey than in the aforementioned Tim Tams. In fact, these biscuits taste pretty much identical to the regular Chewy Caramel Tim Tams – which I take as an admission that Arnott’s got it very wrong with the whole ‘chewy’ thing.

chocolisiouc_caramel_biscuitOverall, then, quite pleasant, but nowhere close to the sophistication and decadence of their Dark Chocolate brethren. Yes, the packaging might be fancy, but these are pretty much common-or-garden caramel biscuits wearing a posh frock. Which makes the whole thing a bit of a disappointment, really. It just seems that Arnott’s have a bit of a blind spot with caramel biscuits. I’m going to give these a five out of ten.

 

 

Chocolicious Bites – Dark Chocolate

October 9, 2013 at 20:11 | Posted in biscuits | 1 Comment
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chocolicious_packArnott’s continue their no-holds-barred-full-frontal assault on the snack biscuit genre with the launch of yet another new range – the ‘Chocolicious Bites’ range. To be honest, I’m underwhelmed by the name; it seems very derivative and try-hard. Whilst the frankly awful ‘BigTedz‘ was designed for kids, this new range is aimed squarely at the more sophisticated adult palate – think dark chocolate squares in luxurious packaging.

So what do you get in your packet? Well, the main pack contains a number of beautiful small squares which look all the world like the thing you might find on the pillow in a four-star hotel, or on your executive meal tray in your not-quite-the-front-of-the-aircraft seat. Intriguingly, inside each little packet (which measure about 35mm across) are two small biscuits – somewhat like miniature Tim-Tams, which this range is also branded with. (Arnott’s last attempt to leverage the Tim-Tam name was a rather poor effort, btw). I rather like this – it feels like you get a little bonus inside each refined yet diminutive package.

One other thing worth mentioning is the extremely strong smell of spirits that assaults your nose when you open the main packet. There is a distinct aroma reminiscent of rum or whisky, which makes these feel even more grown up. It has nothing to do with the biscuits, which are not in any way flavoured as such – I can only presume it is the glue that Arnott’s have used to seal the packet. Just a coincidence, or smart subliminal marketing?

chocolicious_biscuitThe construction of the biscuits themselves is a crunchy biscuit base, which as far as I can tell seems to be the same as used in a regular Tim-Tam. On top of this is what is described on the packet as ‘chocolate cream’, but this is nothing like the chocolate cream found nestling inside your everyday Tim-Tam. This is much richer and less soft – more akin to a chocolate truffle than a cream filling. The layer of cream is at least as thick as the biscuit. There’s no biscuit on top (so surely not really a Tim-Tam then?), but the whole thing is enrobed in a thick dark chocolate.

And it’s actually petty good. Very good, in fact. It’s very dark, very rich, and very sophisticated. To be honest, it comes close to crossing over from ‘biscuit’ into ‘confectionery’, but we’ll not quibble. They are very good indeed – although so rich that it’s hard to each all that many in one sitting. Which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view, I suppose.

This is a hard biscuit to score, as it defies categorisation somewhat. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and give it an nine out of ten. Good work Arnott’s – it seems you have redeemed yourself. I’m going to have to try the others in the range too – ‘Original’ and ‘Gooey Caramel’. I actually doubt they will be as good as these Dark Chocolate ones – but I’ve been surprised before…

Arnott’s Bites – Mint Slice

June 8, 2017 at 21:21 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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Arnott’s are at it again, fiddling with old ideas. Apparently they have re-branded the ‘Chocolicious‘ range simply as ‘bites’, and also changed the flavours. In shocking news, it seems the dark chocolate version is no more. This is a tragedy, as it was by far the best one. However, in more cheery news, the Mint Slice is now honoured with the chocolicous bite treatment.

To be honest, I was never a fan of the whole ‘chocolicious’ thing, a rather unfortunate portmanteau that I previously blasted as ‘try hard and derivative’. ‘Bites’ is more to the point, although I now feel rather nostalgic for the old packaging, which I think did look more classy than the new, rather utilitarian design.

Enough of all that – how are the new Mint Slice versions? Well, the Mint Slice, as you will know, I believe to be Arnott’s finest creation. So I was pretty excited about these. The individual elements – the chocolate, the biscuit and the peppermint cream – are all there. But the proportions are way different. The chart below will give you the idea:

That’s a lot of chocolate. Chocolate dominates in this new format. That’s not all bad, as it’s Arnott’s delicious high quality dark chocolate, but it does rather unbalance the texture a bit; there’s not really enough biscuit to give textural contrast and structure. These are good, but not as good as the original. I’m going to give them an eight out of ten.

Tim Tam Strawberry Champagne

March 24, 2016 at 21:21 | Posted in biscuits | 1 Comment
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tim tam strawberry champagne packOne of my correspondents recently pointed out to me that, in writing of the latest Tim Tam range, I had mistakenly missed out one of the new flavours.

After bristling indignantly at such impertinent criticism for a while, I realised that, indeed, I had. In fact, I had missed out two! So here we are, ladies and gentlemen, and for you reading pleasure, I present the Tim Tam Strawberry Champagne. (The final version – the Tim Tam Chocolicious Bites Velvet Mudslide – I’ll come to next week.)

It’s always very exciting to have a new Tim Tam to try. I broke the first one in half for my oh-so-arty photography (move over, Instagram!), and was instantly reminded of something. The smell was very evocative…

I tried it, and once again, it all just seemed so familiar. Déjà vu. Or Déjà mangé, perhaps. But why? What was it that I had eaten before that seemed such a perfect facsimile?

tim tam strawberry champagne biscuitThen it came to me. Of course! The Tim Tam Luscious Strawberry. Arnott’s previous attempt at a Strawberry Tim Tam was not exceptional, it has to be said. So is this latest version any better? Indeed, is it any different?

Well, to be honest, it’s hardly different. The filling is a bit less lurid pink. The flavour is dialled down a bit – from eleven to, say, nine. But it’s pretty much the same biscuit as last time. There’s certainly no champagne that I can detect. It still has that slightly artificial aftertaste. It’s still a bit sickly. And it is, as before, better than your average strawberry biscuit – but still not that great.

I can’t help feeling that this new range is a bit recycled, what with the Espresso Martini / Three Bean thing. I’m tempted to up my score for the Pina Colada flavour, just as a bonus for originality. I hope the the Velvet Mudslide will be more groundbreaking too.

For now, I’m giving these a four out of ten – just like their predecessors. They are quite chompable, but nothing special. Happy Easter, everyone!

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