* Prices may differ from that shown
I've been meaning to review the Dubble bar for quite a while. I first came across it in Oxfam shops, and that's where you still seem most likely to find it. My home town doesn't have an Oxfam, however, so around here the Co-op is the place to go to find one: mine cost 49p. It's very much branded as an "ethical" bar: not only does it use Fairtrade cocoa, sugar and vanilla - making 71% Fairtrade ingredients in all - but it also bears the Comic Relief logo, though (somewhat unimpressively) there's no indication on the wrapper of how Comic Relief specifically is inolved.
The bar is made by Divine, who also sell some very nice chocolate under their own name. As far as I can tell, Dubble is produced in the UK, and the bar weighs a slightly stingy 40 grams. It packs 210 kcal, which doesn't sound huge but when converted into kcal per 100g is actually slightly above average. As well as being Fairtrade it's also suitable for vegetarians, though obviously not for vegans. Its cocoa and milk solids contents are 27% and 20% respectively: pretty average for this sort of bar.
The Dubble bar's wrapper design is slightly odd: as far as I can tell, the purple areas to the sides are supposed to be stage curtains, while the red "DUBBLE" logo is apparently acting in some sort of comic play, judging by the hilariously-placed banana skin at the bottom. I can only assume that this is to do with the Comic Relief link, but at any rate it's strange. The actual packaging is the usual silver-foil single-layer wrapper; there's nothing of particular interest here.
Interest does, however, lurk within, even if the actual design of two large flat chunks isn't terribly inspired. Against expectations for a British chocolate bar, the Dubble does not contain any vegetable fat, and indeed it smells much more like a Lindt bar or something like that than it does like most of its British rivals. It does, however, contain honey, to stick the crisped rice together; this is gathered at the bottom of the bar, with solid chocolate higher up. The honey aroma is very noticeable even before you bite into the bar, and I like it.
Eating the Dubble is quite satisfying: there's a fair bit of resistance, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with very weak teeth, but the large mass of solid chocolate does feel nicely substantial. The honey I mentioned earlier is strongly in evidence when you attack the crisped rice, and it lingers for a long time in the (nice, smooth) aftertaste: this is certainly not a bar to buy if you're not fond of the taste of honey. My only real complaint about the texture is that the crisped rice could have been very slightly crispier.
The Dubble is not a bad bar at all, this, even before considering its ethical characteristics. Weighing just 40g as it does, it doesn't fill you up as much as some, but that lingering honey taste does mean the memory of it will last in your mouth for a while. The chocolate itself is not quite as nice as the benchmark Dairy Milk (I can already hear the chocolate purists spluttering!) but is well up with the second rank of solid chocolate brands. Considering all this, I can happily recommend the Dubble bar: perhaps not ravingly so, but certainly without any serious qualms.
Do you often fancy some chocolate, but feel guilty about eating it? Well here is one that will make you feel good! No not physically; as it's a chocolate bar, full of sugar, cream and butter. But you will feel good; knowing that the money you have used to pay for it may have been earned from your reviews on this site, and most importantly, will guarantee a better deal for the third world producers.
The Dubble bar
A Dubble bar is a 40g, smooth milk chocolate bar with caramelised crisp rice, A 'FairTrade' product which is 'Dubbly good' and has added 'Comic Relief'
In the Beginning
In 2000 Comic relief joined forces with Divine Chocolate Ltd to make the first FairTrade product for young people - Thousands of young people in the UK were invited to take on a *Chocolate Challenge* on BBC to design a new wrapper for a fairly traded product, the winner Gracie Hadley, travelled out to Ghana to meet the farmers who grow the Dubble cocoa. Her design was used as inspiration for the name and look of the bar,
The Dubble bar was launched in 2000 and has sold over 10 million bars since then.
If you want to find out more about 'Divine Chocolate Ltd' you can log on to www.divinechocolate.com or 'Dubble' www.dubble.co.uk
When you first see the bar, the bold red writing jumps out at you, (although it reads as double, it is spelt D U B B L E. All the letters are capitals, the 2B's are printed in front of the other letters: 1 is sloping backwards, the other forwards and is also back to front. The inner parts of the B's are drawn as smiley faces. (I hope you understand what I mean, if not then you'll just have to go in search of a bar, or take a peek at the website.)
The main packaging is made of thick foil; the colour is silver and purple. If you look at it closely, the purple down each end looks like curtains on a stage or in a window. On my bar there is also a picture of a magician's hat with rabbit ears, I have seen other pictures on the wrapper too, such as an opened banana skin, these are positioned under the name.
Also on the front you will see the Comic Relief and FairTrade Logos.
The packaging contains all the relevant product information you would expect to find. (You can read about this later in the review)
Although the packaging is foil rather than your traditional plastic covering, you can open it just as easy.
What is inside?
Normally I look forward so much to eating the chocolate inside that I don't really take much notice of what the bar actually looks like, but on this occasion I'm going to resist for just a few minutes, whilst I try to tell you what you find.
When you first open the packet, you are not hit by any chocolate smell. Opening the whole thing, you find a solid light brown (milk chocolate) chocolate block which measures 12cm long x 2.5cms wide x 1.5cms high, and is similar shape to a gold bar.
Half way along the bar is a small channel, only a few mm deep, it seems to be there so you can break the bar in half easily, giving you 2 pieces (why it's referred to as dubble maybe?) Now you could either, share your chocolate with another person, save a bit for later or just enjoy it all in one sitting, that choice is yours.
On the top of each half is a slightly raised part of chocolate which was formed when the chocolate was poured into the mould; this shows the BB which you would have previously seen on the packet.
When or if you break the bar in half, you can see the cross-section, the majority of the bar is solid chocolate, but in the lower half you will find a thin layer of crispy rice, similar to 'Rice Krispies' if you turn the bar over you can see some of them sticking out of the base.
Even whilst looking at the chocolate, you couldn't really smell anything, so I held it up to my nose, where I could faintly smell chocolate, (thank goodness for that!!) It didn't have the sweet Cadbury/Galaxy chocolate smell that I'm used to, but did smell slightly bitter and reminded me of the Hershey's chocolate I had when I was in the states. This may be due to the cocoa content and way it is made.
When taking a bite you need to take a hard bite, as the bar is solid, (I normally keep chocolate in the fridge or freezer, if I did this with a Dubble, then I would break my teeth!) But once you have taken a bite you will notice the chocolate starting to melt in your mouth, you can either chew it and find the crunch of the crispy bits or let it melt completely, (this way the crispy rice can get a bit soggy)
I preferred the taste of the chocolate to the smell, but generally speaking there isn't actually that much taste to it at all, the cocoa taste is very mild, but creamy. The crispies are very crunchy, overall doesn't compare to other brands of chocolate.
Dubble is an easy to eat chocolate bar, which isn't too sweet or bitter, and leaves an ok tasting chocolate aroma in your mouth, but with most chocolate I find I need something to drink after, just to refresh my mouth.
Sugar, FairTrade cocoa butter, Dried cream, Crisp rice (Rice flour, Sugar, Gluten, Honey, Barley-Malt, Wheat-Malt, Glucose Syrup, Salt), Whole milk powder, Fairtrade Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier: Soya Lecithin (NON GMO), Real vanilla.
Milk chocolate contains: Cocoa solids 27% minimum, Milk solids 20% minimum, Rice 7%, FairTrade ingredients 24%
~ Please be aware that this product contains gluten, it may also contain nut traces.
~ Suitable for vegetarians
I have mixed feelings about this chocolate bar, and will rate accordingly out of 10
Size ~ 8 ~ A good size, you wouldn't want it any bigger, I could easily have eaten 1 piece and given the other away or saved for later.
Taste ~ 6 ~ Although a mild chocolate taste, it could do with being a bit more chocolaty, this may have been due to it only containing 27% cocoa solids.
Crispy content ~ 7 ~ This bar could easily contain more crispy rice, it may then make the bar lighter to eat.
Price ~ 8 ~ All chocolate bars are slowly creeping up in price. I paid 43p for this one. I'm happy to pay a little extra for a good quality bar, and for FairTrade products, as I know that the farmers will benefit. (Rather than just Mr Cadbury's account)
I would be happy to buy this bar again, but it wouldn't be my first choice. I've tried a few of the Divine Chocolate products and I feel that these are of higher quality.
If you log onto the 'Dubble' website - www.dubble.co.uk you can find further information about their producers and cocoa, you can even join the site and complete FairTrade missions.
Both 'Divine' and 'Dubble' are part of:
Day Chocolate Company
4 Gainsford Street
Thank you for reading this review. Please let me know your thoughts about this bar if you have tried it.