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Monday, January 20, 2014

Jelly Belly Draft Beer Beans

Jelly Belly Draft Jelly BeansOn Friday I got my first press embargo ever on Candy Blog. I got a box from Jelly Belly that said, “Don’t open until January 18th.” I opened it, but dutifully kept the contents of the package to myself until Saturday.

Jelly Belly has a new jelly bean flavor, which debuts at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco this week: Jelly Belly Draft Beer Flavor Jelly Beans. Jelly Belly uses beverages for flavor inspirations all the time. They have their Soda Pop Shoppe line of carbonated drink flavors and went branded with the Snapple flavors. As far as alcohol goes, Jelly Belly came out with their Cocktail Classics a few years ago, based on fruity flavored alcoholic drinks, but this is a first for this type of jelly bean. (What’s next, wines?)

The beans are very pretty, they’re little honey colored pieces with a pearlescent gold sheen. I guess that’s supposed to be like the head on a beer but feels a little deluxe for a beer jelly bean.

When candy makers at Jelly Belly Candy Company set out to create the world’s first beer flavored jelly bean, the question wasn’t how; it was what. Ale or Lager? Stout? Lambic? Pilsner? In the end, the company opted to pay homage to its German ancestry with a Hefeweizen-inspired ale flavor, and Draft Beer Jelly Belly® jelly beans took shape.

Jelly Belly Draft

They smell like roses and sake. It’s a floral scent with a hint of yeasty fermentation. The yeasty note continues with the bean itself, it’s not overt and doesn’t burn like some alcoholic flavors do. It’s just mild with a note of bread, honey and roses. I got no hop bitterness at all, which was what I was expecting with a beer bean.

If you hadn’t told me these were beer beans, I might not have guessed. The yeasty flavors are pleasant, the mild sweetness and fermented notes are a welcome change from the fruits and spices of regular beans.

Jelly Belly also sent some little packets of beans to combine with the beer for different flavors: Red Apple, Tabasco, Peach and Lemon Lime. I found that two beers to a single flavor bean was a good ratio to emulate flavor enhanced beer. The Red Apple tasted like a hard cider. Lemon Lime and Beer did not taste like Corona, perhaps too much lime. Peach actually went pretty well, but was far too floral for my tastes. Tabasco was definitely tempered by the beer, but I didn’t know what that was going for. It just burned. (I later read that I was supposed to combine that with the lemon lime and the beer for a Michellada.)

Overall, it’s a successful jelly bean. I can’t say that it will convert over any beer lovers.

The candy contains no alcohol. They’re made with natural and artificial flavors and artificial colors. They also use beeswax and confectioners glaze.

Related Candies

  1. Meiji Dark Rum Chocolate Sticks
  2. Jelly Belly Tabasco
  3. David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler
  4. Fazer Vodka Filled Chocolates
  5. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans by Jelly Belly
  6. Jelly Belly Honey Beans
  7. Bouquet of Fruits Vinyeard - Wine Filled Chocolates


Name: Draft Beer Flavor Jelly Beans
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Jelly Belly
Place Purchased: samples from Jelly Belly
Price: $8.00 per pound retail
Size: .5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Jelly Belly, Jelly Candy, Kosher, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:29 am     CandyReviewJelly BellyJelly CandyKosher7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (3)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ghirardelli Dark and Mint

Ghirardelli Dark & MintGhirardelli Dark & Mint is part of a new line of small, single serve bars introduced by the California-based chocolate maker.

I found the bars at Walgreen’s on a dedicated display for Ghirardelli just before Christmas. They also come in Milk & Caramel, but that day I had a craving for something sophisticated and not-too-sweet.

The bar is square, which echos the little pieces, but a little thicker than their usual filled confections. It’s 1.3 ounces, so it’s right there as a single serving (it’s 170 calories) and I picked it up on sale for $1.00.

DSC_4921rb

They’re about 2.75 inches square, and sectioned into four pieces. Each piece is well segmented, meaning that you can snap it apart easily and the reservoir of minty fondant is completely contained.

The bar has a rich cocoa smell, it’s a bit woodsy and herbal with a nice hint of fresh peppermint.

DSC_4923rb

The fondant is creamy and flowing, but quite liquid. It’s very sweet but has a well rounded peppermint flavor that’s more like peppermint tea than straight peppermint oil. The dark chocolate isn’t too intense but has a bittersweet quality that keeps the whole thing from getting too throat-searing sticky. The wrapper doesn’t say what the cacao content is, but I’d put it at about 60%.

It’s not a revolutionary bar, but the convenience of a single serving for just a buck is nice. I like the big 3.5 ounce bars, but I don’t like the monotony of eating a whole one and it’s often hard to get enough consensus in this “too many choices” world for everyone to want that chocolate bar at that moment with me. I’d like to see this line expanded. I like the Ghirardelli style much better than Dove or Hershey’s at this price point, but sometimes I want a milk chocolate and crisped rice bar.

Related Candies

  1. Ovation Mint Filled & Pumpkin Spice Oranges
  2. Ghirardelli Squares Milk & Hazelnut Crisp
  3. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints
  4. Dove Cookies and Creme + Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee
  5. Sun Cups Dark Chocolate Mint Cups
  6. Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree
  7. Ritter Sport Peppermint
  8. Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Crisp


Name: Dark & Mint
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ghiradelli
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00 (on sale)
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 131
Categories: Candy, Ghirardelli, Chocolate, Fondant, Kosher, Mints, 8-Tasty, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:37 pm     CandyReviewGhirardelliChocolateFondantKosherMints8-TastyUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (0)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Candy Blog is on Tumblr

If you’re on Tumblr, you might want to pop Candy Blog on your follow list. It’s just candy photos, posted a couple times a day. Think of it like a visual reminder of new reviews and a few revisits to the archive.

Tumblr - Candy Blog

You can also browse the archives for some tasty views:

Tumblr - Candy Blog Archive

You can also find Candy Blog on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Google +. But I spend most of my time developing the content here. Thanks for reading!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:35 am     Behind the ScenesCandyCANDY BLOGHighlightFeatured NewsComments (3)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Haribo Happy Cola Gefullt

Haribo Happy Cola GefulltCola is an American flavor, invented in 1886 as a tonic mixed with soda water to cure a variety of ailments. The flavor is a combination of kola nuts, spices and citrus. (If not those actual ingredients, there are detectable flavor notes of them.) Though the drink is wildly popular in North America, it is rare in other forms. It’s not a common candy flavor, though it makes good candy. However, Europe seems to have embraced it and Germany has many excellent candies that utilize the unique combination of citrus and spice.

Haribo may have made its name and reputation on gummi bears, but there is one place where I think they do a much better job of creating an exclusive line of candies: Happy Cola. The Happy Cola line is a small group of cola bottle shaped and flavored products. They include the classic Happy Cola, Super Happy Cola (larger sized pieces), Fizzy Happy Cola (sour sanded gummis) and now the Haribo Happy Cola Flüssig gefüllt. These are liquid filled cola bottle gummis.

Haribo Happy Cola

I first heard about these from CandyBrain.de and knew I had to track them down. This involved a candy swap with Kristian, as you may have noticed, I’ve had quite a few European candies featured since November and he has been featuring the American candies on his blog.

They’re a little different from the regular cola bottles, they’re a layered gummi. The bottom is a foamy, stiff marshmallow then there’s the honey-like goo and the top layer is the standard Haribo cola gummi. They’re about 1.3 inches high.

Haribo Happy Cola

The effect of all the textures and their variations of flavor work really well together. The gummi itself is soft and chewy, but a bit stiffer than the American-made Trolli or Albanese. The marshmallowy bottom is creamy and has a vanilla note, giving it an ice cream note. The filling has a honey flavor to it with an extra little burst of spice and tartness.

It’s a nice combination and something that Haribo could easily expand to include other kinds of soda like ginger ale and root beer (though I had the root beer Haribo introduced years ago and thought they were horrible, but then again, many Europeans don’t actually like root beer).

Related Candies

  1. Sugarfina: The Gummis
  2. Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe Gummi Bottles
  3. Morinaga HiCHEW Fanta: Grape & Orange plus Cola
  4. Napoleon BonBon Cola
  5. Haribo Maoam Fruit Chews
  6. Eat with your Eyes: Haribo Cola Wheel
  7. Haribo Happy Cola
  8. Fresh Cola Mentos
  9. Ramune & Cola Bubble Ball


Name: Happy Cola Gefullt
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Haribo
Place Purchased: candy swap with CandyBrain.de!
Price: $1.00 retail
Size: 6.17 ounces
Calories per ounce: 96
Categories: Candy, Haribo, Cola, Gummi Candy, 8-Tasty, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:21 pm     CandyReviewHariboColaGummi Candy8-TastyGermanyComments (4)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Creamy Candy Bar

Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Creamy Candy BarAmy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Creamy Candy Bar is another bar in the new organic line from the famous ready-made food company.

The package describes the bar as Whipped Creamy Center with Caramel Covered in Chocolate. So, rather like a Milky Way Midnight bar.

The back of the package spends a lot of space telling you about what ingredients are in there, what ingredients may have been near the other ingredients and what ingredients are never in anything they make. It’s free from GMOs, preservatives, peanuts, eggs and gluten. Made from 99% organic ingredients (salt and water are the only non-organic items). It contains soy and dairy (made with rBHT free cows), but it’s also manufactured in a facility that processes tree nuts, wheat and seeds.

Amy's Organic Andy's Dandy Creamy Candy Bar

The two bars are a nice size. They’re one ounce each (a total of 2 ounces for the whole package). For comparison, a Milky Way Midnight bar is 1.76 ounces. The price for the bars is steep, I paid $2.49 for this, so twice as much as a regular Mars candy bar but actually larger. Inside the wrapper (which was devilish to open) the bars are set in a tray which protects them pretty well.

The bar just out of the package smells rich, like woodsy cocoa. Biting into the layers, it’s soft, not quite foamy but very forgiving. The fluffy center is less than creamy. It’s more like the nougat center of a 3 Musketeers. It’s airy and slightly grainy. It smells a little, well, cheesy. The caramel is unremarkable. There’s a malt note to the whole thing, but overall the center is quite sweet.

The dark chocolate is good, it’s at least bittersweet and cuts through some of the sweetness. The overall effect of the sort of the brewers yeast flavored center with the overt sweetness and lack of toasty caramel notes left me unimpressed. Granted, Milky Way has never been a huge favorite of mine, so the alternate versions I’ve had over the years are trying to measure up to something that I don’t care for in the first place. At this point, I’d say the other offerings in the Andy’s Dandy bar line are going to be more satisfying.



Name: Andy’s Dandy Creamy Candy Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Amy’s Organic
Place Purchased: Mother's Market (Laguna Woods)
Price: $2.49
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Amy's Organic, Caramel, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Nougat, Organic, 5-Pleasant, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:08 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewAmy's OrganicCaramelChocolateEthically SourcedKosherNougatOrganic5-PleasantUnited StatesComments (0)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

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