It's not too early to think about Valentine's Day gifts, especially if you plan to lavish your loved one with chocolates available only by mail order. Our testers tasted standard-issue $10 sampler boxes up through extravagant treats costing $90 a box. Here's what they found:
Top-tier chocolates: Woodhouse Chocolate Assortment ($90, 48 pieces)
These chocolates came in ultra-smooth milk, dark, and white chocolate, and encased a bounty of flavors and textures—including real whipped cream. Our tasters reported amazing flavors such as cinnamon toast, buttery pecan pie, and fresh mint that exploded from the first bite. This box contains truffles, creams, nuts, and nut butters. Buy from woodhousechocolate.com.
High-quality bonbons: Christopher Elbow 21-Piece Collection ($40)
These chocolates are something to behold. The artistic-looking, ultra-smooth chocolates house an array of bold and unusual flavor combinations such as buttery caramels that taste of mango with chipotle or balsamic vinegar. Buy from elbowchocolates.com.
Save your money: Maggie Lyon Assorted Chocolates Everyday Collection ($23, 19 pieces)
Our tasters found these chocolates chalky and gritty, with hard pieces that didn't have a good enough flavor to make them worthwhile. The box contained mostly artificial flavors, and some were quite bitter or reminiscent of cough syrup.
See our buying guide for reviews of more than 30 boxed chocolates.
Tip: Many retailers will customize a box of chocolates for you, so ask when you're placing your order.