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The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate Bar Review

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I stumbled across The Quirky Gift Library's range of chocolate bars recently, when I spotted them selling a flat-packed Easter Egg in Ikea-inspired packaging. I dug a little deeper and discovered this Edinburgh-based 'Chocolate Library' also produced a range of Scottish themed chocolate bars. I salivated over bars named Isle of Skye Sea Salted Caramel Crunch, Cranachan White Chocolate with Raspberries & Oats, Dark Chocolate Bar with Malt Whisky, Dundee Cake Chocolate Bar, but perhaps the most curious of all was the bar named Iron Brew Chocolate with Popping Candy.

I love Irn-Bru, an addiction possibly engrained in me by my time spent as a boy in Dunbartonshire. Dating back to 1901, Scotland's 'other' national drink is produced by AG Barr near Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire. The brand is famous for its cheeky adverts and playful persona (besides the neon orange soft drink, of course).

The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate Bar Review
The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate Bar

While it's trademark vivid orange colour - produced using the controversial additives Sunset Yellow FCF (‎E110) and Ponceau 4R (‎E124) - is easy to describe, its fruity flavour, made with 32 flavourings, is near-on impossible to explain, other than it's delicious! One of those ingredients is not iron girders, even if the adverts would have you believe it! That said, the ingredients list includes Ammonium Ferric Citrate, a food additive which is a source of iron. Coincidence?!

I love the flavour of Irn-Bru, and I'm not alone. In fact, it's since been incorporated into a myriad of other foodstuffs. I fondly remember the fizzy, tangy McCowan's Irn-Bru Bars. Since then, the 'Iron Brew' flavour has been turned into a barbecue rub, gin, fudge, and even soap, and now chocolate. So, when I clocked The Quirky Gift Library's Iron Brew Chocolate with Popping Candy bar, I knew I had to try it. I ordered a bar and it arrived from Scotland a few short days later.


Packaging

The chocolate bar arrived clad inside a vivid blue and orange tartan- decorated paper sleeve (inspired by Irn-Bru's own tartan, perhaps?). This bar, #15 in the library, is part of the Scottish collection, explaining its bold sleeve design. This is one that would definitely stand out on a shop shelf.

The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate Bar Packaging Closeup
A closer look at the vivid tartan packaging

The reverse of the sleeve contains a little bit about the origins of Irn-Bru, and lists the ingredients of this white chocolate bar.

The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate with Popping Candy ingredients:
White chocolate (cocoa butter, whole milk powder, sugar, emulsifier (soy lecithin (E322))), Iron Brew flavouring (substances ethanol), colouring (cocoa butter, E102, E110), popping candy (sugar, glucose syrup, cacao butter, lactose, carbon dioxide), natural vanilla. Minimum cocoa 28%.

There's no nutritional information available on the website nor on the packaging. There is a note about the use of E102 (Tartrazine) and E110 (Sunset Yellow FCF) in the bar. Both additives are linked to hyperactivity in some children according to the Food Standards Agency, so this might be worth bearing in mind before you let the little ones scoff this chocolate bar in one go.

There's also a final note on the packaging that states the bars are made in small batches on the outskirts of Edinburgh.


The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate Bar Review

The bar itself is wrapped inside waxed paper. The oh-so familiar and unmistakable aroma of Iron Brew hits you immediately.

The bar is cast in a traditional chocolate bar mould, offering up a potential 24 segments. There's quite a lot of air bubbles in the mould which I believe is caused by the popping candy in the bar. More on that later. A clean and crisp snap makes portioning this bar a doddle.

The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate Bar
A vivid pinky-orange chocolate bar

So, what have we got in terms of aroma? Well, there's no mistaking this is Iron Brew flavour. It smells sweet, fruity, and almost sherbet-like, with hints of citrus and bubblegum. If you've ever tried describing Irn Bru to someone then you'll understand how difficult it is to unpick those 32 flavourings. While it's not an exact copy of the iconic Irn Bru flavour, it's incredibly close to it.

A closer look at the Iron Brew flavour white chocolate

I'm not a fan of popping candy so was never really going to like it here. True to form, it's my least favourite aspect of the bar. I don't think the chocolate needed it, nor benefits from it, but I acknowledge it adds a fizz and a pop to the chocolate, adding a characteristic that mirrors the soft drink. I can't deny that the popping candy adds a whimsical aspect to the bar, which is the whole point of this particular flavour, I feel.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is a quirky chocolate bar from the Quirky Gift Library.

The Quirky Gift Library Iron Brew Chocolate Bar Review

RRP: £4.50 | The Quirky Gift Library | Shop now

Using white chocolate as a base, the Iron Brew flavour comes through clearly. While not quite the original Irn-Bru taste, it's very close to the real thing. I'm not so keen on the popping candy but acknowledge it adds whimsy and quirkiness to this bar.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 3.8

Where to Buy Online

I purchased my bar from The Quirky Gift Library website (£4.50). It's also available on Born in Scotland (£4.95) and at Quirky Coo (£5.50). It's also available, rebranded as Fannybaws Iron Brew Choccy, at Gie it Laldy (£5).

Irn-Bru - best in liquid form or in foodstuffs like confectionery and chocolate? Let me know your thoughts in a comment below.

Disclosure: I purchased a 100g bar of Iron Brew White Chocolate with Popping Candy from The Quirky Gift Library for £4.50. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own.

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