Monday, August 25, 2008

Hershey’s Special Dark Miniatures

Hershey's Special Dark MiniaturesHershey’s makes several varieties of their Miniatures line. I picked up Hershey’s Special Dark Miniatures as I’d never seen them before and they seemed to promise dark chocolate versions of the old favorites Krackel and Mr. Goodbar (though not by name).

The bag was a bit larger than the other Hershey’s Miniatures that I bought at the same time and has only three varieties instead of four.

But the most notable part is the appearance of the little seal that Hershey’s puts on some of their dark chocolate confections, it says that this is a “natural source of flavinol antioxidants.” At only about 45% cacao content, yes, I guess it qualifies as a source, though not a terribly dense one. Hershey’s has some wonderfully convincing documentation about this on their website, though they’re probably purposefully vague about how much of these beneficial compounds are in any given serving.

Hershey's Special Dark Minatures

The assortment here is rather balanced between the three varieties: 13 Special Dark, 11 Special Dark with Crisp Rice and 12 Special Dark with Peanuts.

imageI just reviewed the Special Dark on Friday, but for those who don’t feel like clicking over, here are the relevant parts of that again:

It smells sweet, a little woodsy.

The texture is rather chalky and doesn’t melt into a creamy puddle in my mouth. Instead it just tastes sweet and more like hot cocoa made with water than real rich chocolate ... there’s a thin-ness to it all, probably because Hershey’s now uses milk fat.

There’s a dry finish with a slight metallic bite to it.

Rating: 4 out of 10

imageThe Special Dark with Peanuts comes in a mustard yellow wrapper, which I figured is to remind us of the Mr. Goodbar. Why they don’t just call it Mr. Goodbar Dark or Mr. Darkbar or something, I have no clue.

Though the ingredients on the wrapper are not broken out for each of the individually wrapped varieties, the list is clear, these are all real chocolate. There are no additional oils present except for those native to the chocolate or dairy ones (permissable in present definitions).

The little bars are cute and look really just like you’d expect a dark Mr. Goodbar - dark sheen and little nuts poking through.

It smells like dark roasted peanuts and cocoa.

The bite has a good snap and an immediate mix of bitter notes from both the peanuts (which look like they’re roasted very dark) and the chocolate. The texture isn’t super creamy, but is consistent with an okay melt.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

imageI brought a lot of my own baggage to the Special Dark with Crisp Rice as I was hoping Hershey’s could be redeemed. Perhaps with the one hand they’d taken away a beloved favorite but with the other they’d snuck a glorious replacement into this mix.

It looks much like the Peanut version, but smells much sweeter with only the lightest whiff of malt.

The crunch isn’t as pronounced as the old Milk Chocolate or present Mockolate version, but has a nice texture. The malty flavor of the rice is completely lost in the thin cocoa flavor and sweetness. The texture doesn’t seem as creamy or melt as easily for some reason, but I can’t call it waxy.

It’s less bitter than the others though, so provides a nice counterpoint.

Is the Krackel and Hershey’s redeemed? No. But it’s a passable effort.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

I didn’t even try asking Hershey’s what the ingredients for the individual pieces are, because I’m not entitled to know should I decide to pick only one of the variety to eat.

If I needed to buy a chocolate miniature assortment from Hershey’s again, I’d have to pick this one up instead of the old favorites. But even with the higher ratings than that one, I don’t see myself picking this up again.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Special Dark with Almonds
  2. M&Ms Premiums: Dark Chocolate
  3. Hershey’s Nuggets Double Chocolate
  4. Hershey’s Special Dark Pieces
  5. Kissables Dark
Name: Hershey's Special Dark Miniatures
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $4.29
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 131
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, Crisp, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:36 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I loved Special Dark as a child, but more recently when I tried it I hated it.  I heard they changed the recipe fairly recently.  I don’t know if it was in the past few years or past decade, though.  I wish I could compare the two, but any chocolate that old probably wouldn’t be good, right?

    Comment by MusicalMom on 8/25/08 at 11:23 am #
  2. I love your blog.  I actually found your blog in the “Blogging for Dummies” book.

    I will be back!

    Comment by Debra on 8/25/08 at 4:09 pm #
  3. Although not Hershey, since you’re talking about dark chocolate I wanted to ask if you noticed that Milky Way Dark that became Milky Way Midnight is now called Milky Way Midnight Dark? I bought one the other day before they change the name again.

    Comment by Gary on 8/25/08 at 4:26 pm #
  4. All of the negative reviews and comments I’ve been reading here about Hershey’s chocolate are very distressing. For years I loved Hershey’s. I preferred it over Godiva or any of the other self proclaimed “classy” chocolates. Now I’m beginning to think I should not buy Hershey’s at all. No matter what, I’ll never switch over to Nestle. Never liked that stuff!

    Comment by Chip on 8/26/08 at 7:32 am #
  5. Cybele's avatar

    Chip - absolutely buy whatever you like the taste of! Candy is one thing that peer pressure or status should not enter into, these are discretionary calories you’re consuming, so you’d better like them. (I’m not a Godiva fan myself, either.)

    MusicalMom - I remember it being more waxy, but more complex as a kid ... but like you say, it’s not like we can dig up an older version and compare.

    Debra - thanks!

    Gary - oh, the whole Milky Way thing is insane, I think that bar has been through eight different names! It also used to be called Forever Yours.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/27/08 at 2:42 pm #
  6. How much is it to purchase a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures

    Comment by Akbor on 8/30/08 at 2:25 pm #
  7. Have you ever heard of 3 muskateers max? It is like fortified with vitamins and kinda has a brownie like thing where the nougat usually is. I found them at the $.99 store and they are delicious!! You should definitely review them if you can find them!!

    Comment by Emily on 8/31/08 at 4:44 pm #
  8. i love MINIATURES and dark chocolate.. so this is HEAVEN for me :D

    Comment by u8mypinkcookies on 9/09/08 at 7:58 pm #
  9. Hershey’s Special Dark candy miniatures with crisp rice is my favorite candy.  I was looking for if they sell it outside of the variety pack.  It’s the right size, good flavor and amount of crunch.

    Comment by Robyn on 6/21/10 at 7:06 am #
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