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The Best Milk Chocolate: Our Taste Test Results

First Posted: 11/02/2011 10:35 am   Updated: 08/31/2012 10:48 am


Listen up, chocoholics. In search of the best of the best milk chocolate bar, we decided to put 30-plus different kinds to the test. We scored the bars in a blind taste test to find which ones are worth it and which aren't.

We tasted bars that ranged in price from $0.49 to $5.99, and we were shocked to learn that the cheapest of the bunch was the biggest crowd-pleaser. And though each of the bars was a perfectly acceptable snack that none of us would turn away, our taste buds got down to the nitty gritty to detect the smallest flavor notes and textural details that separated the best from the worst.

Check out the results below, and find out how your favorites performed -- we've included the brands we'd be in favor of buying (though not all of our tasters agree on everything!). We were surprised by the results (especially by where the classic Hershey bar ranked), and we think you will be, too.

* If you're wondering what differentiates milk chocolate from dark chocolate, milk chocolate is defined as containing approximately 30 to 40 percent cocoa solids, whereas dark chocolate uses at least 60 percent cocoa solids.

Also see The Best Dark Chocolate: Our Taste Test Results

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  • #1: Dove

    <strong>Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.dovechocolate.com" target="_hplink">www.dovechocolate.com</a> $0.49 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Creamy .. good chocolate flavor." "Classic style, done well." "So creamy it almost has the texture of mousse."

  • #2: Divine

    <strong>Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.divinechocolate.com" target="_hplink">www.divinechocolate.com</a> $3.69 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Has a peanut-buttery texture, but good chocolate flavor." "This is good ... creamy, sticky and fruity." "The perfect amount of sweetness." "Texture = A+"

  • Tied For #3: Valrhona

    <strong>Jivara Milk Chocolate, 40% Cacao</strong> <a href="http://www.valrhona.com/us " target="_hplink">www.valrhona.com/us </a> $5.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Almost perfect." "Very chocolatey." "So thin it just melts on your tongue." "Smooth."

  • Tied For #3: Green & Black's

    <strong>Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.greenandblacks.com" target="_hplink">www.greenandblacks.com</a> $3.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Tastes dark and espresso-like." "Coffee-like!" "Deep chocolate flavor."

  • #4: Trader Joe's

    <strong>Fair Trade Swiss Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.traderjoes.com" target="_hplink">www.traderjoes.com</a> $1.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Very cocoa buttery." "Tastes like white chocolate." "Quite smooth - milky and fruity."

  • #5: 365 Organic

    <strong>Swiss Milk Chocolate, 36% Cacao</strong> <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com" target="_hplink">www.wholefoodsmarket.com</a> $2.49 <strong>Comments:</strong> "This tastes almost fruity ... very fresh." "Tastes like berries." "Very fruity and bright, but not cocoa-y enough." "Vague cherry flavor."

  • Tied For #6: Moonstruck

    <strong>Milk Chocolate, 31% Cacao</strong> <a href="http://www.moonstruckchocolate.com" target="_hplink">www.moonstruckchocolate.com</a> $3.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Creamy and satisfying." "Smooth and sweet." "Maybe too sweet."

  • Tied For #6: Godiva

    <strong>Milk Chocolate, 31% Cacao</strong> <a href="http://www.godiva.com" target="_hplink">www.godiva.com</a> $3.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Very milky taste." "Super creamy, but reminds me of a chocolate Easter bunny." "Light and pleasant." "I'm picking up a pistachio flavor." "Silky." "Butterscotchy."

  • Tied For #6: Rapunzel

    <strong>Swiss Chocolate: Organic Milk Chocolate, 38% Cocoa</strong> $3.69 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Tastes like caramel!" "Tastes like sweet caramel." "Earthy."

  • Tied For #7: Scharffen Berger

    <strong>Extra Rich Milk, 41% Cacao</strong> <a href="http://www.scharffenberger.com" target="_hplink">www.scharffenberger.com</a> $3.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "This tastes dark for milk chocolate." "Middle of the road, but has a nice cocoa finish." "Buttery." "A bit darker than the others."

  • Tied For #7: Dagoba

    <strong>Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.dagobachocolate.com" target="_hplink">www.dagobachocolate.com</a> $2.49 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Light and fresh." "Smooth and floral." "Classic" "Almost hints of dark chocolate -- a bit minty."

  • Tied For #7: Trader Joe's

    <strong>Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.traderjoes.com" target="_hplink">www.traderjoes.com</a> $0.67 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Light and caramel-like." "A standout - good berry notes, and the right amount of sugar." "Very smooth."

  • Tied For #8: Lindt

    <strong>Excellence Extra Creamy Milk</strong> <a href="http://www.lindtusa.com" target="_hplink">www.lindtusa.com</a> $3.49 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Melts in your mouth - so creamy!" "Very creamy ... good flavor." "Way too sweet." "Silky."

  • Tied For #8: Guylian

    <strong>Belgian Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.GuylianBelgianChocolate.com" target="_hplink">www.GuylianBelgianChocolate.com</a> $3.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Extremely rich and creamy." "Nutty." "Tastes like Halloween candy. There's a hint of peanut butter." "Hazelnutty."

  • #9: Ghiradelli

    <strong>Luxe Milk: Milk Chocolate, Rich and Creamy, All Natural</strong> <a href="http://www.ghirardelli.com" target="_hplink">www.ghirardelli.com</a> $2.49 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Pleasant." "Strong raspberry finish." "Notes of cherry."

  • Tied For #10: Hershey's

    <strong>Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.hersheys.com" target="_hplink">www.hersheys.com</a> $1.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "This must be Hershey's!" "Tasted like Christmas morning." "Weird aftertaste, but unmistakably Hershey flavored." "This makes me nostalgic - I know what brand this is."

  • Tied For #10: Ritter Sport

    <strong>Alpine Milk Chocolate, 30% Cocoa</strong> <a href="http://www.ritter-sport.de" target="_hplink">www.ritter-sport.de</a> $3.19 <strong>Comments:</strong> "The bar is too thick for me to bite into." "Very sticky. Tastes okay, but not like chocolate." "Tastes heavy." "Nutty.

  • Tied For #10: Endangered Species Chocolate

    <strong>Organic Milk Chocolate, 43% Cocoa</strong> <a href="http://chocolatebar.com" target="_hplink">chocolatebar.com</a> $3.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Doesn't deliver enough chocolate flavor." "Standard, but a little mocha-like." "Starts out tasteless, then tastes like coffee."

  • #11: Trader Joe's

    <strong>Swiss Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.traderjoes.com" target="_hplink">www.traderjoes.com</a> $1.99 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Goes down easy and tastes like caramel." "This has an odd meaty flavor." "Weirdly bland." "Flat."

  • #12: Lake Champlain

    <strong>Milk Chocolate, 34% Cocoa</strong> <a href="http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com" target="_hplink">www.lakechamplainchocolates.com</a> $3.39 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Tastes like toffee or coffee." "Bitter." "Not a clean, pure milk chocolate flavor." "Pleasant, with a good mouthfeel." "Tastes like cheap Valentine's Day chocolate."

  • Tied For #13: Chocolove

    <strong>Milk Chocolate, 33% Cocoa</strong> <a href="http://www.chocolove.com" target="_hplink">www.chocolove.com</a> $2.79 Comments: "This tastes a little bit like rosemary." "There's a strange floral finish." "There's a bit of a burnt taste."

  • Tied For #13: Equal Exchange

    <strong>Organic and Fairy Traded Milk Chocolate with a hint of hazelnut</strong> <a href="http://www.equalexchange.coop" target="_hplink">www.equalexchange.coop</a> $4.19 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Ordinary." "Good, but flat in flavor." "Greasy texture."

  • Tied For #14: Perugina

    <strong>Milk Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.peruginachocolate.com" target="_hplink">www.peruginachocolate.com</a> $3.39 <strong>Comments:</strong> "Mellow and creamy." "Leaves a greasy coating on my tongue." "Tastes a bit like thyme and citrus." "Surprisingly rich and complex flavor."

  • Tied For #14: The Food Emporium

    <strong>Milk Belgian Chocolate</strong> <a href="http://www.thefoodemporium.com" target="_hplink">www.thefoodemporium.com</a> $1.99 Comments: "Chalky, but there's a good aftertaste." "Chalky but tastes fine." "Waxy, with echoes of a real chocolate bar."

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