It's been a little while since we've seen something new and exciting from the Nestle stable. While not necessarily new and exciting, this Violet Crumble block is an interesting idea, and the first foray Nestle has made into the 'combining bar and block' idea. (Cadbury went there years ago with its Dairy Milk and Crunchie block, so Nestle is a wee bit behind on the uptake here.)
Speaking of Crunchie, if you ask an Australian which bar they prefer, chances are they will side with either the Violet Crumble or the Crunchie, but rarely both. My uneducated theory behind this is because while both bars are technically honeycomb, they have vastly different textures. The Violet Crumble is pale in colour, somewhat mild in taste and has a chalky texture, while a Crunchie will leave you with toffee-like pieces in your teeth (if you even have any left from the tooth-decay-inducing sweetness of the chocolate and aerated, 'bubbly' honeycomb).
Described as a 'milk chocolate block with honeycomb pieces', the packaging isn't all that inspiring to look at. It's not even in the same colouration as the Violet Crumble block (which is metallic purple). Perhaps this whispers of a future packaging change, or maybe it was just to avoid a packaging clash with the omnipresent Cadbury trademark purple. I picked my block up at Coles when it was on special for $3. (I did buy one from Safeway/Woolworths, also on special, when it first came out, promptly ate it and have been waiting for it to come back on special since.) I'm not a TV watcher, Facebook participant or magazine reader so can't comment on any advertising, if there even has been any.
It's fairly weighty for a honeycomb product. (The bar is 50g and is about as long as this block.) Inside the boring packaging we have a decent-sized block, embossed with the Nestle logo, and split into the three-per-row shape, which allows for a large bite or two small nibbles. It's nicely smooth on top, somewhat glossy, with barely a hint of the honeycomb inside. On the underside is where the fun begins. The chocolate is just PACKED with honeycomb pieces, its surface rippled and bumpy like asphalt. There is definitely a lot more honeycomb in this than in the Dairy Milk Crunchie block.
The smell is a little malty and sweet (reminds me of Easter, curiously), and milky. The ingredient list reveals that there is just 20% each of cocoa and milk solids in this - very little at all. When we break it into pieces, the honeycomb takes up just the bottom layer of the block, though this does seem to vary; in a few areas the pieces went about halfway up the square.
On first bite there's a little bit of rumbling from the honeycomb layer, and then the malty flavour from earlier reappears, softening the sweetness of the chocolate. It's not a complex flavour by any stretch of the imagination - just sweet milk chocolate with a hint of malt. I don't get any real honeycomb flavour at all, to be honest. It is a sweet bar, but not in the league of Cadbury's version, and a few pieces will be enough to satisfy most people.