Elevation by Millville Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar (Aldi)

Packaging for Elevation Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Very, very surprising.

Well, this story starts off the same as virtually any other: I needed a snack for work, and found myself in the breakfast bar aisle/Elevation endcap. By now, I feel like I’m a little too acquainted with their line, and tend to shy away from their products lately, as our finances have taken a little hit thanks to COVID (but whose hasn’t?), and they tend to be a little on the pricier side. But mere granola bars just weren’t going to cut it, and nothing else really sounded all that good, so I bit the bullet and found both an item I’ve never tried, and one of the least expensive items they offer: a dark chocolate and peanut butter nut bar.

That sounded gross to me, but my mind was open to new experiences, and so into the cart it went. Besides, as I mentioned it was one of the least expensive items they had, and everything else either sounded gross, or was something I’ve had far too many times. That helped make the decision easier.

Now, to be fair, when I say it’s one of the least expensive items they offer, there’s a good reason for that: it may be $3.29, but there are only 4 bars inside. The bars are a really good size, bigger than some of the other Elevation protein bars I’ve had in the past, but it’s a little weird to me that they would do that. Actually, that goes across the whole line: some boxes have 4 bars, some 5, and some 6….why not just make them all uniform? Instead, it makes the whole process of deciding which ones to get rather confusing, especially to those on a budget. Sure, the "per oz." (or per bar, or whatever unit of measurement they use) on each price tag can help you decide which bars are most "affordable", but as someone who packs these for work, I like to have enough to take with me every day of the week. That means, no matter the unit cost, I still have to pay close attention to how many bars are in each box.

Wow…okay, this is easily one of my favorite Elevation bars, something I was not at all expecting. Despite my rather…strong disdain for dark chocolate (which I typically avoid), the taste is tamer compared to others I’ve had, and it strikes up a perfect chord with the peanut butter to create a flavor that is neither sweet, nor bitter. It’s just like a straight down-the-middle flavor profile. If that sounds boring, it kind of us, but with these simple ingredients, it’s somehow so addicting…once I start eating one, I have a hard time stopping. And that’s something I don't recall ever happening with anything made of dark chocolate, at least not that I can remember.

As can be expected, the texture is pretty boring and mostly dry, since it’s made up of a nut base; the chocolate drizzle on top, and layer on the bottom help to liven things up a little bit. It's actually very similar to a brittle, as pieces break off pretty easily if you're not careful, which can lead to some...sticky situations. It’s not my favorite kind of texture for…well, anything really, but it’s also not the driest or most boring bar I’ve ever had, so I guess it gets some points for that. 

Texture aside, this is a fantastic, semi-healthy bar that should appeal to a wide range of people across the spectrum. 

Overall: 8/10. Man, I was not at all expecting to like this bar at all, let alone as much as I did: it's a very straightforward, almost boring bar in theory, but it's executed perfectly, with a great mixture of peanut butter and dark chocolate that threatens to become addicting. It's really a pretty much perfect balance between the two that never veers into "bitter" territory, but also doesn't sway into "sweet" territory...it's just a straight shot down the middle in terms of flavor profile. The texture's a little weird, as it breaks apart, almost like a brittle, at the slightest hint of pressure; outside of that, it's not the driest or most boring bar I've ever had. I usually despise these types of bars, but this one caught me off guard and is one I would wholeheartedly recommend. I just wish there were more than four bars in each box.

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