First up: Ghirardelli's Sublime White Vanilla Dream. Here I must offer a full disclosure: I really, really do not like white chocolate. However, I rather enjoyed this square; the mix of white chocolate and vanilla beans was absolutely perfect. It was neither too sweet nor too white chocolatey. At the same time, though, it did not offer the "timeless pleasure" that one should receive upon devouring this chocolate, as the Ghirardelli website claims:
The luxuriously smooth and creamy white chocolate in Ghirardelli Sublime White Vanilla Dream is infused with real vanilla delivering unrivaled flavor intensity.
Enjoy the tranquility of Vanilla Dream and experience a moment of timeless pleasure.
Furthermore - as a friend at work noted - how can one experience a moment of pleasure if that moment is timeless?
Alas, the Vanilla Dream doesn't hold the answers to these important questions. But I still recommend this chocolate anyway.
Ghirardelli Sublime White Vanilla Dream rating: 5/5
Couldn't find a decent pic of this anywhere so you'll have to excuse my crappy iPhone capture.
Up next is another Ghirardelli, Pumpkin Spice Caramel. This particular chocolate doesn't try to fool you; it tastes exactly as it sounds. Think pumpkin, caramel, and nutmeg, and you've got this square. It would have been absolutely perfect had it involved dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, because with the milk it tasted a little too sweet for my palate. As such, I probably wouldn't be able to eat more than two or three of these in one sitting.
Apparently this chocolate is a limited edition Ghirardelli product, so I don't know how readily available it is in stores. But if you can find it, give it a shot. Recommended for people who like pumpkin-flavored chocolate.
Ghirardelli Pumpkin Spice Caramel rating: 4/5
Moving on to a different brand, here we have the Dove Peanut Butter Promises. Admittedly, there's not much special about this chocolate because you can buy it year-round, but the square I had was wrapped in foil with autumn leaves on it, which I guess means it's Halloween-themed. Or something like that. Anyway, you can get this in either the milk chocolate or dark chocolate variety; I had the milk chocolate, though I assume the dark chocolate is better (but, I am biased). As with the Pumpkin Spice Caramel, the milk chocolate made it way too sweet (since peanut butter is already super sweet by itself). But if you like milk chocolate, I would recommend the milk version of these squares.
Dove Peanut Butter Promises (milk chocolate) rating: 3.5/5
Last, but certainly not least, we have one of my favorite non-elite chocolate bars: the Milky Way Midnight (aka: dark chocolate Milky Way). Like the Dove Peanut Butter, you can get these at any time of the year. But that's okay, because they should be eaten year-round. These things are just so, so good. I had my first Midnight around the age of 10 or so, and since then I haven't been able to eat regular Milky Ways. I'm a sucker for caramel and dark chocolate, and the Midnight is no exception. Eating this Halloween-themed chocolate evoked a flood of nostalgia and taste bud explosion that had me craving more for the rest of the day.
Milky Way Midnight rating: 5/5
Happy belated Halloween, everyone!