Friday, 24 August 2012

Nestle Aero Caramel

I honestly meant to review this bar months ago when it first came out, but every time I purchased it, it seemed to mysteriously disappear from my review basket...

The Aero product originated in the UK, where it has a strong following, but it is also available in many other countries, including Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Argentina, and mainland Europe. As far as I'm aware, this caramel-filled version is Australian-only at this time.

Typically, the Areo bar is wide (about 8cm) and long (12cm for a medium bar), with an average height of about 1.5cm. The outer chocolate shell is moulded into short rows (seven in a medium bar), which are easily broken for sharing. The Aero Caramel breaks somewhat with that traditional, instead opting for a more modern long but upright and narrow bar style.

It only has five moulded, domed bite-size pieces, each of which are a hair shy of 2cm tall, and 2.5cm wide. Despite the relatively small shape, the Aero Caramel manages to clock in at the same weight as a normal Aero medium bar - 40g. The entire bar itself is 12.5cm long.

The outer chocolate layer is emblazened with the Aero logo, complete with bubbles coming off the O. The scent actualyl reminds me a lot of the old Nestle Double Blend blocks (RIP). It's quite sweet, and there's a bit of a warm hot chocolate note there. It's friendly and very inviting. It doesn't smack of quality chocolate,  but this is Nestle we're talking about here. To be fair, it's a lot nicer than $2-shop compound chocolate. It is pretty rich and sweet on its own, though not teeth-searing as Cadbury.

Inside, the bubble layer runs along the bottom of the bar, and is immediately visible when a piece is snapped off. The bubbles are beautifully round and glossy, and they do look a little bit plastic-like (although not as much as the bubbles in the Peppermint version).

The caramel is stored under the domed top, and there's a thick layer of plain chocolate between it and the bubbles, which leaves a surprisingly small amount of the runny caramel. Despite its tiny size, however, the caramel has a huge impact on the taste of the bar. What was fairly rich and sweet just becomes obnoxious and very in-your-face. The caramel almost dominates the chew and demands your attention, barely letting the chocolate get a word in edgewise. By itself, the caramel is gooey and almost honey-like in its taste. There's no depth or notes of flavour though. It kind of reminds me of caramel topping for ice-cream - one-dimensional. There's a bit of sweetness, but surprisingly it's not too bad on its own. It's only in combination with the chocolate that it turns deadly. 

I don't love it, but it's a bar I would pick up if I needed a serious sugar hit.

The Aero Caramel bar is made in Australia, contains milk, wheat and soy, and is made on equipment that processes products containing opeanuts and tree nuts. (Interestingly, Wikipedia tells me that Nestle overseas produces Aero in nut-free enviornments. Australia is the special child, apparently.)

Oh, and this bar will soon be available in block format.

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