Disclaimer: neither of the two candy makers in this blog have given me any kind of information regarding this topic, it is merely hearsay and speculation - but interesting none the less!
Once upon a time a local candy maker, famous for his smooth mint chocolates, began to age. Shall we call him Mr. T? As age wore on, Mr. T began to consider selling his candy empire to an interested party. This interested party, though keen on the purchase of the store and all its recipes was not so interested in the current chocolatier, or perhaps the chocolatier was not interested in the new ownership. Through a series of events, the chocolatier packed his things, donned his chocolate maker's hat and stepped forth into the world, intent on finding a new outlet for his love affair with chocolate. After a short amount of time, this young chocolatier began an empire of his own, which includes a smooth chocolate mint. And they lived competitively ever after.
On an obviously unrelated note, I have conducted a blind tasting of both light and dark versions of the Rheo Thompson Mint Smoothie and the Chocolate Barr's Minties...the results are as follows...
RT = Rheo Thompson
CB = Chocolate Barr's
RT - 1 pound box of milk and dark "mint smoothies" retails for $16.95
CB - 450g mixed "minties" gift box retails for $16.75
RT - the chocolates have a uniform, moulded look with a glossy finish.
CB - chocolates appear individually hand-made (which shows a great deal of care and personal attention), and have a matte finish.
RT - the filling and outer shell are perfectly integrated, first bite offers a delicate minty-ness that is wonderfully creamy.
CB - outer coating is distinct from the creamy centre, flaking slightly with the first bite, overall meltability/mouthfeel is glorious when eaten all at once.
RT - slight brittleness from the dark chocolate coating, mint is pleasant but seems somewhat lost behind the chocolate.
CB - perfection! the front-runner of all four chocolates, texture is creamy and decadent, mint begins softly but sharpens for a refreshing finish, flawlessly balanced with the dark chocolate.
A slight overturn for the 'newcomer' to the chocolate world - Mr. Barr wins the tasting via his dark chocolate minty. Now for the true test, to see which my mother likes better.
Check out a great story on Derek Barr's chocolate making style written by the Local-Come-Lately: From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate Barrs