Best chocolate brands

Which are the best milk and dark chocolates on supermarket shelves? We put 24 of them to the all-important taste test.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

02.Best and worst dark chocolates

We taste tested 13 plain dark chocolates (we also tested 11 plain milk chocolates if that's your preference). With the exception of Haigh’s Premium Chocolates (included to provide a comparison to a boutique brand), all the dark chocolates in our test are available at the supermarket, ranging in price from $1.25 to $4 per 100 grams.

By definition, dark chocolate isn’t supposed to contain milk. But we found more than half of the products on test do in fact contain milk products. 

Best dark chocolate according to the experts

dark chocolate lindt excellence 70 % cocoaLindt Excellence Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa)
Price per 100g: $3.89

dark chocolate lindt excellence 70% cocoa score

This was the highest-ranking chocolate for the experts, and for the lay panel came in equal third. But only eight per cent chose it as their favourite. The experts said it had good depth of cocoa flavour with a good snap, indicating a high cocoa butter content.

“An interesting dark chocolate with some fruity acidity, but leaves a slightly sticky mouthfeel.” – Jodie

Very bitter – for the hardcore chocolate fans only!

The CHOICE panel’s response to this chocolate was mixed. Some enjoyed its strong cocoa flavour, while others found it too bitter, with a chemical flavour. 

“Very bitter – for the hardcore chocolate fans only!” – CHOICE panellist

OUR VERDICT? Good if you like a strong dark chocolate.

Best dark chocolate as voted by the people

dark chocolate moser roth 70% cocoa aldiMoser Roth Dark Chocolate (Aldi) (70% cocoa)
Price per 100g: $2.15

dark chocolate moser roth 70% cocoa aldi scoreThis earned the highest average score from the CHOICE panel, with 14% saying it was their favourite. It ranked equal third with the experts, but their reviews were mixed. 

“Very little flavour development – lacks aroma and depth.” – Jodie 

“Thin, good snap. Smooth, good aftertaste. A good bite. One of the best so far.” – Tina

One of the best
- Tina Vamvoukakis, Chocolate expert

CHOICE panellists’ responses were mixed, with some saying it was well balanced and pleasant while others called it ordinary and bland, and lacking in chocolate flavour. 

OUR VERDICT? If you’re a die-hard fan of intense chocolate this probably won’t satisfy. But for $2.15 per 100 grams it’s good value. 

Dark chocolates worth a mention

dark chocolate Aldi Choceur Green & Black's Just Organic Woolworths Gold Intense 78%

Aldi’s Just Organic Dark Chocolate with 70% cocoa is worth a look, particularly if you like a strong, traditional and bitter-tasting dark chocolate. CHOICE panellists rated this well, with 19% (the highest percentage) saying it was their favourite.

Woolworths Gold Intense Dark Chocolate also didn’t scrub up too badly, coming in second with the CHOICE panel and 11% saying it was their favourite. It also came in equal second with the experts.

Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate divided the crowd, with some loving it and other hating it. Just over six per cent said it was their favourite, while 16% said it was their least favourite. But the experts rated it highly, coming in equal second with them. 

Aldi’s Choceur Dark Chocolate was pretty average according to the experts, but it didn’t do too badly among the CHOICE panel, with 16% saying it was their favourite. 

The worst dark chocolates

dark chocolate cadbury's old gold 70% cocoaCadbury’s Old Gold 70% cocoa Dark Chocolate
Price per 100g: $2.34
  

dark chocolate cadbury's old gold 70% scoreExperts and lay people agreed this was the worst dark chocolate, with a whopping 52% of panellists saying this was their least favourite. Experts felt the texture was thick, grainy, dry and chalky, with a poor mouthfeel, slow melt and a dull taste. 

“No interesting chocolate flavour characteristics and very little aroma.” – Jodie

Like plasticine, but with a bit less flavour

The crowd was pretty much unanimous in its dislike of this chocolate, describing it as dry, grainy and oily while lacking flavour and being reminiscent of cooking chocolate.

“Like plasticine, but with a bit less flavour.” – CHOICE panellist

OUR VERDICT? Don’t waste your money. 

dark chocolate cadbury's old gold originalCadbury’s Old Gold Original Dark Chocolate (45% cocoa)
Price per 100g: $2.34

dark chocolate cadbury's old gold original score

Not as bad as its higher-cocoa-content counterpart but still not great, with 11% of CHOICE panellists saying it was their least favourite and coming in second last with CHOICE panellists and experts. Experts described it as grainy, sweet and with a lacking in flavour. 

“Not good due to very bad immediate chemical flavour. Almost a stale flavour.” – Tina

Almost a stale flavour
- Tina Vamvoukakis, Chocolate expert

CHOICE panellists described it as bland, with a strange artificial flavour and chemical aftertaste. 

“OK, but not super exciting. Something weird, like artificial sweetener going on with the flavour.” – CHOICE panellist

OUR VERDICT? Don’t waste your money.

Dark chocolate results

Experts' average score Jodie's score Tina's score Rebecca's score CHOICE panel's score Price per 100gms* Cocoa %
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
6.3 8 4 7 6.4 $3.89 70%
Coles Dark Chocolate
5.3 5 5 6 6 $1.35 46%
Green & Black's 70% Dark Chocolate
5.3 8 3 5 5.2 $4.00 70%
Haigh's Premium Dark Chocolate
5.3 7 5 4 6 $9.50 51%
Just Organic Dark Chocolate (Aldi) 5.3 7 6 3 6.4 $2.29 70%
Woolworths Gold Intense Dark Chocolate 5.3  6 6.5  $2.99  78% 
Choceur Dark Chocolate (Aldi) 5 5 5 5 6.4 $1.25 45%
Moser Roth Dark Chocolate (Aldi) 5 5 6 4 6.9 $2.15 70%
Nestle Club Dark Chocolate 3.7 5 2 4 5.6 $2.39 45%
Cadbury Old Gold Original Dark Chocolate 3
5 1 3 4.2 $2.18 45%
Whittaker's 72% Cocoa Dark Ghana
3 5 1 3 5.2 $2.15 72%
Woolworths Select Dark Chocolate 3 4 1 4 4.6 $1.35 47%
Cadbury's Old Gold 70% cocoa 2.7 3 2 3 3.3 $2.18 70%
 *Based on store prices in Sydney in February and March 2014 

Chocolate test method

chocolate choice taste testersA panel of 32 CHOICE staffers and members tasted the 13 dark chocolates along with three experts.

The dark chocolates were tasted in order of lowest to highest cocoa content, so as not to disadvantage the sweeter ones, and brand names disguised as best as possible.

Each tester gave the chocolates an average score from 1-10, taking into consideration appearance, aroma, texture and taste.

See our milk chocolate taste test results. Or learn more about buying good quality chocolate

 

Sign up to our free
e-Newsletter

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.

 
 
Your say - Choice voice

Make a Comment

Members – Sign in on the top right to contribute to comments