The Good: Good taste and aroma, Nothing truly bad in it!
The Bad: Very expensive in this form, Environmental impact of packaging
The Basics: Mostly meeting the needs of those who love the flavor of butterscotch, Land O’Lakes Butterscotch & Chocolate hot cocoa is not balanced between the chocolate and butterscotch flavors.
One of the nice things about the late summer is that, locally at least, prices for hot cocoa and tea seem to drop before people might actually start stocking up on them. As a result, I was thrilled to find a local grocery store that was discounting Land O’Lakes cocoas and there I found a flavor I had not yet tried: Land O’Lakes Butterscotch & Chocolate hot cocoa.
The Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics Butterscotch & Chocolate hot cocoa is interesting, but not incredible and it does not find a good balance between the two promised flavors.
The Butterscotch & Chocolate hot cocoa mix is part of the Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics premium hot cocoa line. The mix comes in a 1 1/4 oz. sealed foil package and is a delicious mix. Each 1 1/4 oz. packet is a single serving and these bear a relatively high price tag virtually everywhere I have found them (when they are not on sale). They tend to run approximately three for two dollars. For a single mug of cocoa, this is expensive when compared to other make-at-home products, but the Butterscotch & Chocolate is generally good enough to warrant the price tag!
Ease Of Preparation
The Cocoa Classics Butterscotch & Chocolate hot cocoa mix is very simple to make. The cocoa is rather enduring and the new packet I just bought did not expire until late 2016. Because it is sealed and has some artificial preservatives in is, this is likely to last virtually forever unopened. A single serving is the packet and six oz. of water. There is no measuring of the product involved!
As a result, preparation is ridiculously simple. The top of the envelope has a perforated edge and one need simply tear open the top, which is quite easy, and pour the contents of the packet into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour hot water - near boiling, but not actually boiling as boiling water cooks the ingredients as opposed to simply dissolving them - over the powder and stir. Stir the powder until there are no blobs of chocolate powder visible in the water or giving resistance from the bottom. The beverage will have a light brown color to it and will be uniformly smooth and creamy.
Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics Butterscotch & Chocolate hot cocoa smells almost exclusively like butterscotch. The aroma is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. The scent is muted as it is inhaled, so it starts like what one expects of butterscotch, but ends before it can fully reach its aromatic potential. It is an inviting scent, but not a completely true one.
On the tongue, the Butterscotch & Chocolate cocoa tastes sweet and buttery. The lightness of the flavor is not overbearing or lacking in substance; instead, it is a sweet, flavorful cocoa that accents the chocolate that finishes the palate. The flavor of chocolate manifests as a somewhat dry taste that cuts into the sweetness that erupts the moment this cocoa hits the tongue. This is a good flavor, but not the most robust one and certainly not the most balanced; those looking for a strong chocolate flavor will end up somewhat underwhelmed.
In addition to having a subtle taste, the cocoa has a slightly dry aftertaste to it that is distinctive to Butterscotch. This is not a terribly strong aftertaste and it does not endure for very long at all.
Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics is a hot cocoa mix and therefore not the most nutritious things ever, though the Butterscotch & Chocolate flavor could be far less nutritious than it is. While I am used to reviewing things like all natural teas where the ingredients are all easily pronounceable and recognizable, the Butterscotch & Chocolate hot cocoa has a few ingredients that cannot be easily identified. The primary ingredients are sugar, nonfat dry milk and whey. It is not vegan compliant as a result. Ironically, there is nothing called Butterscotch or Butterscotch flavoring in the ingredient list, so it is surprising that it replicates the flavor of butterscotch so well.
What is not a mystery is how high this product is in sugars. In each cup of Butterscotch & Chocolate Cocoa Classics, there are 140 calories, twenty-five of which are from fat. There are two and a half grams of saturated fat, so while one might be tempted to curl up and enjoy this while resting, they are likely to pay for it later on! While there is no cholesterol, nor any measurable amounts of trans fats, a consumer gets 11% of their recommended daily allowance of sodium out of a single packet of this beverage! There is a little protein, but not enough to live off this. In other words, this product is not a nutritious food product. But it is good!
This product contains soy and milk and because there are no notations on it, one must assume it is not Kosher or gluten-free.
So long as one leaves the Butterscotch & Chocolate Cocoa Classic powder in its packet, it ought to stay usable. One assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The packets, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are terribly wasteful and expensive. The foil/plastic wrappers are not recyclable anywhere I've been.
Cleanup is very easy. If the product spills while dumping it into the mug, simply wipe it up or brush it up with a dry or damp cloth. If it has already been reconstituted with water into hot cocoa, simply wipe it up. Light fabrics are likely to stain if this gets on them, in which case consult your fabric care guide to clean it up.
The Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics Butterscotch & Chocolate is good as an occasional treat, but is more average than it is exceptional. The result is a cocoa worth trying and even stocking up on, but not one one will find themselves craving it frequently at all.
For other Land O’ Lakes hot cocoa reviews, please check out:
Double Fudge & Chocolate Cocoa
Chocolate Graham Hot Cocoa
Classic Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa
For other beverage reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Review Index Page!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.