Thursday, October 6, 2011

Russell Stover Private Reserve Triple Chocolate Mousse Squares: Hard To Find, Not Quite Worth The Effort . . .

The Good: Good taste, Generally natural ingredients, Flavorful
The Bad: Somewhat expensive, Not a great quantity
The Basics: Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares are rich and flavorful, but not exceptional in a way that they ought to be highly sought-after.

Last year, on our way home from out annual trip to Las Vegas, my wife and I stopped at the Russell Stover plant in Kansas, which has become one of my wife's favorite placed to stop on our cross-country trips. I picked up a bunch of different chocolates and what is surprising me most at this point is that I am not finding them online or in stores. Is it possible that things like the Private Reserve Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares did not hit the mass market before they were pulled? Or is it just that online Russell Stover isn't releasing much in the way of their "Private Reserve," making it actually live up to its name? Either way, the Triple Chocolate Mousse squares are worth finding, though they are not so great as to be worth driving out to Kansas or Missouri for.

The Triple Chocolate Mousse more or less lives up to its name, but is liable to let down fans of real dark chocolate as the milk and, of all things, white chocolate flavors overwhelm the 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate these are trading on.


Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares are one and a half inch squares if chocolate that are about three-eighths inches thick. Each of the squares comes individually wrapped in a gold and purple plastic wrapper. It is worth noting that while I usually rail against the environmental impact of such things, it is hard to imagine these (and other) Russell Stover chocolate squares not wrapped. This keeps each one clean, unmelted and intact.

Each chocolate square is a square that is not seamless. The top is like an inverted dark chocolate plate with edges and the bottom is a white chocolate block that looks like it was stuck there when that top plate smashed down upon it. In this form, the 4.2 oz. bag, the individually-wrapped chocolate squares are packaged together in a thick paper bag with foil accents. The bag my wife picked up for me had only eight squares in it and the thick foil paper bag does, apparently, just enough protect the squares, mostly by virtue of being half empty. The bag is not resealable, though this matters very little considering that the chocolate squares do not go bad as they are individually wrapped.

One of these bags, with only the eight squares, tends to run in the $5.00 - $6.00 range, when they can be found. These are not cheap candies and I know she was glad she picked them up at about sixty percent off at the factory outlet store.

Ease Of Preparation

These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the bag and then opening one of the plastic wrappers around the actual chocolate square one wishes to eat. There is no grand secret to eating Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares. This treat is a simple and direct confection, though one supposes they can be used to accent ice cream or baked into real good brownies for use outside the sit and devour standard nature of the candy.


Opening the gold and purple plastic wrapper from around the Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate square, the consumer is met with the dry scent of dark chocolate and the sweet scent of milk chocolate. The smell is flavorful and bountiful, teasing the nose with multiple chocolate scents, though the aroma of white chocolate is completely sublimated to the other chocolate scents.

Placing the Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate square on one's tongue, the consumer discovers a fairly rich chocolate flavor. The 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate advertised on the package is almost completely undone by the sweetness of the white chocolate. The resulting flavor is that of a heavy milk chocolate, like what one might expect from a milk chocolate mousse. This is good, but not as rich as one might hope from a dark chocolate. Still, moving the square around on the tongue, the white chocolate flavor is evident separate from the milk and dark chocolate, leaving at least two distinct flavors depending on how one is eating the square. This is definitely a sweeter chocolate square than a dark one.


The Triple Chocolate Mousse squares are candy, so it is tough to look at these for something nutritious and then blame them for not being healthy. The primary ingredients are dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate, which is better than a lot of mass-produced chocolates on the market. There is nothing unpronounable in these candies and outside the soy lecithin (an emulsifier), everything in them sounded pretty palatable!

A serving of the Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares is considered two squares. From two squares, one takes in 180 calories, 130 of those calories being from fat. There is 1% of the RDA of cholesterol (less than 5 mg) and no vitamins nor sodium in these chocolate squares, but there is 10% of one's daily iron and 4% of their daily calcium in two squares. Still, I'd not recommend trying to live on them!

Honestly, these are candy and anyone looking to them for actual nutrition needs to get a reality check. These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are produced on the same equipment that peanuts pass over. They are not marked as kosher, either, which might well be because they pass over the same machines as tree nuts, eggs and wheat, so there probably are not Kosher!


The bags of these Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares remain fresh for quite some time. Purchased in August of 2010, our bag did not expire until September of 2011 and one assumes that if they are kept in a cool, dry environment they will not melt or go bad. Given that they are individually wrapped in a very sealed package, it is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and refreezing. Having kept mine frozen, they remained fresh a little longer.

I applaud those who actually throw the wrappers away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter. Outside that, there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. In that case, it is likely one would need to wash their hands. If these chocolate squares melt into most fabrics, they will stain. Getting them to melt, though, appears pretty difficult as the dark chocolate is very solid!


I was excited about the Russell Stover Triple Chocolate Mousse chocolate squares, mostly because I am a big fan of dark chocolate. They were fair, but nothing to drive hundreds of miles for. Still, if I'm at a party and someone has them, I will no doubt enjoy more.

For other Russell Stover chocolate reviews, please check out:
Private Reserve Mocha Ganache with Silky Milk Chocolate
Private Reserve Mississippi Mud chocolate squares
Whitman's SoHo Assortment


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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