Hersey's recently started selling premium chocolate bars ...
Premium Milk (35% cacao) ... plain or with Hazelnuts
Extra Dark (65% cacao) ... with or without Nibs
Java, Indonesia (32% cacao)
Arriba (50% cacao)—Using beans from Ecuador
Santo Domingo (67% cacao)
Sao Tome (70% cacao)
I haven't seen the single origin bars yet, but based on the two I tried ... the 35% milk and the 65% dark, I'd give the single origin bars a try.
This is not great chocolate, but it is crowd pleasing chocolate witb good basic ingrediants. There's no preservatives or junk in it.
For the heck of it, I did a back to back taste test of the premium milk chocolate and the original Hershey bar ... which surprised me ... the original bar had the same ingrediants with the exception that the premium bar uses vanilla bean and the regular bar uses vanillin.
The premium milk is still very sweet and not very chocolate-y ... more milky. The regular bar is sweeter and actually has a little more character ... it has that classic Hershey aftertaste.
As to the dark chocolate bar ... it is one dimensional and pleasant enough. If you want dark chocolate without the acidity and sharpness of many premium chocolates, this is the bar for you.
I did a lot of 65% and above chocolate tasting last year ... spending lots of bucks. It was ok, but not interesting enough to me.
However, the Hershey bar made me realize how many nuances and flavors are in a true artisan bar. Like artists, they can be annoying but they make you think. Hersheys is dark chocolate to enjoy and not think or worry about.
They sort remind me of the comparison of See's chocolates to artisan chocolates. The artisan chocolates are interesting, but when I want my chocolate fix, I'm going to buy See's.
But ... my Raley's was also selling organic Dagoba laveder & blueberry bars for $2.79 ... that was really something ... a small piece with a glass of sparkling or red wine can make me forget about the worst day.
It seems that Hershey's is also planning to sell Mayan and Aztec hot chocolate mixes as well as truffles, btw.
Hershey cacao prices are ok ... $2.39 for 3.5 ounces at my local Raley's. I know Walgreens and Target sells them too.