Newest Review: ... choc covered toffee, and chocolate covered...well, chocolate! For me they are a dream - I love all of the flavours and love anything t... more
A mixed bag
Member Name: davidbuttery
Advantages: Variety, the orange one is lovely, quite cheap
Disadvantages: Inconsistent quality, not particularly imaginative
Revels seem to have been around for ever, and indeed looking it up I find that Mars began production of them more than forty years ago, in 1967. They consist of small chocolate sweets filled with a small variety of centres - raisin, Maltesers, coffee, orange and toffee - as well as one which is solid chocolate. At one time coconut was used instead of coffee, and peanut instead of raisin: I'd rather the older centres had been kept, frankly. There was also a gimmicky Big Brother-style "eviction" competition last year, which saw coffee replaced with strawberry, though sadly only for a limited time.
The bag design has been tinkered with over the years, but now seems to have settled down a bit and it looks reasonably attractive and - importantly - easily recognisable, although it's not exactly what I'd call a design classic with its vague brown stripes. The wrapper bears are guide pictures of the six types: solid chocolate, raisin, Maltesers, coffee, orange and toffee, though really only the flat chocolate one looks all that different from the others. The pack allegedly has an "easy tear-off" top, but as usual with these claims it's rubbish and you're better off making use of the traditional pair of scissors.
While I'm struggling with the packaging, let's have a look at the nutritional information section: this reveals that the calorie count is 840 kcal for the 175-gram bag, which works out at 480 kcal per 100g, actually slightly lower than average for chocolate. Revels are suitable for vegetarians, though obviously they're not vegan. They have only 14% milk solids, which is about as low as you can go and still reasonably call it milk chocolate. Still, you probably can't expect a huge amount from what is quite a cheap snack: the aforementioned 175-gram bag currently costs £1.70 from Tesco, while you can buy a small packet (which is really no more than a taster) for a mere 46p.
Once you finally get the blasted thing open, the chocolatey smell is pleasant, but not all that thrilling: you certainly notice the raisins, and to an extent the coffee, but the other flavours aren't particularly obvious, so it's time to grab a handful and shovel them in! This is where you discover that Revels have that elusive quality of moreishness that means you do have to watch yourself carefully. It's strange, actually, because with the exception of the truly glorious orange-centred one and perhaps also the light and tasty Maltesers version, as sweets they're not really much more than competent.
It's worth mentioning that the solid Revel (sounds odd as a singular, doesn't it?) tastes exactly like a Galaxy Minstrel (see last brackets!), for the very good reason that that's exactly what it is. I like Galaxy chocolate, so that's no hardship, though it's nothing to raise the pulse. The toffee one is quite tasty but a little bit too hard, so watch your teeth! I can't think of a huge amount to say about the raisin one other than it tasted raisiny (yes, very helpful I know!) and I'm not a great coffee person at the best of times so couldn't really say I was too fond of that variety.
Overall, and rather appropriately, I have mixed feelings about Revels. The quality of the chocolate is average, while the fillings vary from below par (the toffee) to really rather impressive (the orange). They are very easy to eat too many of, though, so Mars must be doing something right. By no means one of the great chocolates of our time, but worthy of a three-star rating and a nice treat once in a while.
Summary: Nothing too special, but nothing too horrible either