Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Young & Smylie Traditional Licorice

Young & Smylie Licorice (Flavor No. 1)Hershey’s has reinvigorated one of their old lines: Young & Smylie Licorice. Known more for Twizzlers, Young & Smylie is one of the oldest candy companies in the country.

This new line, called simply Old Fashioned Soft Eating Licorice and includes three flavors in their initial offerings. Flavor no. 1, oddly enough, is Strawberry. Nope, it’s not licorice, it’s strawberry. I’ll admit, right away I’m offended by this. While I fully accept that “red licorice” is a grand and glorious genre of confection, the original flavor of licorice is actually licorice.

However, I’m at least a bit appeased by reading the package which says that even this strawberry flavor has licorice extract in it.

Young & Smylie Licorice (Flavor No. 1)

These soft little nuggets are pretty. They’re opaque and shiny logs. It smells tangy, kind of like strawberry yogurt.

The bite is quite soft, a cross between Dots and HiCHEW. It’s sweet and mild, the strawberry flavors are all in the range of toasted sugar and floral. It’s not the slightest bit tangy, though exceptionally smooth.

Young & Smylie Licorice (Flavor No. 2)Flavor no. 2 is Traditional Black Licorice.

The resealable packages are a hefty 8 ounces. It feels like more. The plastic is matte and rather elegant. Easy to open and reclose, the design is quite nice - modern yet classic. I like the geometric background pattern that’s used on all three.

I’ve seen them in a few stores, usually selling for $2.99 a package, so it’s on the high end of Hershey’s sugar products at the moment. Small wonder, it must be hard to make an inexpensive product when the list of ingredients is so long. No less than 15 ingredients. It starts with corn syrup and ends with soybean oil. But hey, I can’t be too disappointed, there is licorice root extract but I don’t have high hopes as there’s no molasses in there. (Not that licorice must have molasses, but I do love the combo so.)

Young & Smylie Licorice (Flavor No. 2)

Opening the bag, it’s an odd scent. It’s a combination of anise and curry. It smells hearty and warm.

It’s very soft stuff, kind of salty (190 mg of sodium per serving). Mild and sweet, it has a nice anise or fennel bump to it, but not terribly intense. It is a little sticky, but not like Crows.

It’s appealing and certainly different than the other soft eating licorice brands on the market, so I at least have to tip my hat to their originality. But it just doesn’t satisfy my licorice desire. I’ve had these since the beginning of the month, yet I found myself buying Good & Plenty last weekend instead of eating these.

I was also kind of annoyed that these made my tongue greenish black thanks to my old friends Red 40 & Blue 1. (Many black licorices are colored by the presence of molasses.)

Young & Smylie (Flavor No. 3)The final sample I got was their remaining flavor in their intro line, Flavor no. 3 is Peach Mango.

I have to just wonder how it was that this became one of the top three contenders for a soft eating licorice line.

Like the Strawberry & Licorice, Peach Mango is naturally and artificially flavored. In this instance it smells artificial from the get-go. Both the Strawberry & Peach Mango list that each serving contains 35 mg of licorice root extract (the licorice variety makes no mention of how much it contains, only that it’s above that “less than 2% of the following” line).

Young & Smylie (Flavor No. 3)

This package smelled even before I opened it. The peach and mango blend becomes something like apricot, which I admit is a fresh and enticing smell. But generally I stay away from stone fruit flavors, they never seem quite authentic to me.

These are the softest of the three varieties. It’s all sweet and no tartness. The chew is smooth but has a pasty quality, kind of like too-soft macaroni. After eating a few pieces I realized that it was just peach flavored and I wasn’t getting anything mango out of it (which is usually a rather pine tasting note). It also left a lingering and mellow bitter taste in my mouth ... it wasn’t bad, just kind of strange.

I’ll be curious to see if this flavor makes it. It’s certainly different, but inconsistent with the other two and of course so out of the range of traditional licorice it may not attract those folks who might like a mild apricot-scented overcooked pasta.

On the whole, I appreciated that these were actually different from other soft-eating licorice products out there. This tastes nothing like Panda, Kookaburra or Finnska. Licorice products are being marketed as a low-calorie treat. As a wheat-based product they are less calorically dense but this particular variety does have a smidge of fat (1.5 grams per serving). Not a deal breaker but regular Twizzlers are a bit better in that respect. (Twizzlers are 92 & 94 calories per ounce for black & red, respectively, Y&S Soft Eating is 94 & 101 for the same.)

These contains wheat, soy products and artificial stuff but no dairy. But they’re certified Kosher.

Other views: YumSugar, Candy Addict, The Hershey Insider + Candy Critic has it on his upcoming review list.

Related Candies

  1. Twizzlers Licorice Twists
  2. Twizzlers Chocolate Twists
  3. Twizzlers (Strawberry)
  4. Runts
  5. Dutch Licorice
Name: Old Fashioned Soft Eating Licorice: Strawberry, Licorice & Peach Mango
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Young & Smylie (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: samples from Hershey's
Price: retail $2.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101 & 94 & 101
Categories: Chew, Licorice, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:07 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Mmmm…  I love the idea of mango peach candy.  Sounds interesting!

    Comment by Amanda on 7/23/08 at 11:49 am #
  2. I picked up the Peach Mango flavor at Safeway a few weeks ago.  While I loved the aroma, it was pretty awful otherwise.  The flavor was artificial and bland and the texture didn’t do anything for me either… kind of rubbery.

    I didn’t know what the other flavors were at the time, because the store only had the Peach Mango.  I had assumed that since they took the time to number the flavors, that there might be a whole slew of them.  If they had a ton of interesting, creative flavors, I might be tempted to sample more, but since it’s just these three, I’ll probably stick with the tried-and-true brands.

    Comment by Ann on 7/23/08 at 2:51 pm #
  3. Tricia's avatar

    You wrote: it may not attract those folks who might like a mild apricot-scented overcooked pasta. But if those people google for candy that tastes like mild apricot-scented overcooked pasta, they’ll end up here and know to try it! :^)

    Comment by Tricia on 7/23/08 at 3:37 pm #
  4. mmm. looks like fruity gnocchi, that peach-mango thing. bleurgh.

    Comment by santos. on 7/23/08 at 8:46 pm #
  5. i cant believe this was the post yesterday.  i just bought this at duane reade, then googled it.  i kinda liked it… it was strange.  i still dont know if i like it or not.  i like how soft it is! wish it was more natural… if king tut really ate it (as the package claims) there must be a natural version… ??

    Comment by sarah on 7/24/08 at 9:32 am #
  6. I wish I could find those somewhere, I’d be down with giving them a go.

    Comment by Ralph Jones on 7/30/08 at 8:04 am #
  7. I just bought these in strawberry and love their soft chewy texture. I eat them very slowly because I suck on them (so they dont stick in your teeth) and they last longer! MMMM

    Comment by Emily on 7/31/08 at 8:16 am #
  8. I bought the Black licorice kind last week for $2.00 (with a Safeway Club Card) and fell in love with them! I went back and bought 2 more black, and then one Strawberry and one Peach Mango. My kids and hub love the strawberry, I still adore the black and we are so-so on the peach mango.

    I found myself looking to see if I could buy this in bulk on Amazon, but no such luck. That was how I found this blog.

    Another thing is that when I bought the black the 2nd time, there were only 2 left on the shelf and I had already seen them on display at Shopko and the black were sold out. I think they appeal to a lot of people who like black licorice, but don’t like the plastic-y hard texture of much of the black licorice out there.

    Comment by ChocoMama on 8/12/08 at 7:01 am #
  9. These candies are delicious! The peach mango flavor is wonderful. I bought a bag and my boyfriend and I ate it in about 2.5 days! Try them you’ll love it!

    Comment by Paris on 9/04/08 at 7:48 am #
  10. I just found both the Strawberry and Peach Mango at the Dollar Tree the other day!  I love both!

    Comment by Amie on 1/05/09 at 3:02 am #
  11. I bought 3 bags (2 strawberry, 1 peach mango) from Giant and ended up returning two bags. I bought them from the after-Christmas section, but strangely they didn’t ring up 50% off, but I was in a hurry so what the heck.  Anyways. . .
    YUCK!  The strawberry was weird, strange, and artificial tasting. I am a Darrell Lea fan and these just didn’t come close. It tasted like an Australian-licorice wannabe.  The only thing I did like was the softness and texture, but otherwise, it tasted artificial and was full of artificial ingredients.  Bleck!

    Comment by Makai on 1/09/09 at 3:56 pm #
  12. I bought some peach mango ones on sale this week.  They were delicious!  They were a huge hit with my coworkers too, who I shared them with.  My mom really enjoyed them too.  So I hope the peach mango flavor does make it.

    Comment by Rita on 2/11/09 at 10:02 am #
  13. the peach mango is to die for!! and i know candy! bought 12 bags of them and took them to work…they lasted about 35 minutes and everyone wanted to know where to get them.

    Comment by julianne morin on 3/08/09 at 1:45 pm #
  14. I have been looking at this bag of black licorice for a few months now, since it hit the shelves. Today I actually decided to buy some… I HOWEVER, did not know it was made by Hershey?s nothing personal, but Hershey’s does not do gourmet in my opinion.. Everything “gourmet” I’ve ever tried from Hershey’s was okay, but deff. did not have the gourmet taste, texture. It was just good chocolate, but not gourmet.
        Any way, I got home and ripped that bag open and popped a piece in my mouth. I was originally taken back by how soft they were… I have had black licorice that claimed to be “soft and chewy” but not that soft.. I honestly can’t tell you if it’s good or bad… I think I disliked the texture more than liked it..
            So, I chewed it slowly, and like a fine wine tried to savor the flavor on my pallet. As I consumed this piece there was something missing I thought… I ate a few more pieces… Attempting to find that allusive mystery ingredients gourmet licorice always has.. To make a long story short, i never found it. For my mature taste I found it was not salty enough.. It also lacked molasses.
    After two or three pieces I discovered an interesting texture? well, more of a disgusting, oily texture and overly sweet aftertaste? I looked at the ingredients and found it had palm oil? If you know what palm oil is, it?s a nasty little oil that clogs arteries. McDonalds and other fast food places have used this cheap oil in the past. However, it got such bad press for the negative impact on the heart that McDonalds discontinued its use all together and replaced it with a healthier oil.
      With this being said, I loathed McDonalds in the past because of the greasy feel and taste of the palm oil? I could feel it coating my mouth and with the super sweet corn syrup after taste, the combo made me sick.
            I was very disappointed.. I know I am a very picky black licorice connoisseur However, I believe if you boast your product is gourmet.. It better be gourmet in every way.

    Comment by Rose on 4/29/09 at 4:12 pm #
  15. what? You found it at the dollar tree? I think that’s a bad sign… That line may be going out of business.

    Comment by Rose on 4/29/09 at 4:14 pm #
  16. Also reviewed Y&S Black as part of an ongoing hunt for the perfect licorice; i find it to be the front runner available at present, but not of all time.

    Comment by SushiNorth on 1/06/10 at 7:25 am #
  17. I live in FL for 9 mos and 3 mos in WI.  I purchased Y & S black licorice and I absolutely love it.  I love licorice and this is really the best.  I purchased the black licorice at Farm & Fleet in RAcine, WI and brought back 30 bags of it to Naples, FL However my supply is running low and I cannot find it anywhere.  Have checked our local Target with no success. Where in this area can I find it.

    Comment by Connee Zeman on 2/05/10 at 1:42 pm #
  18. Peach mango is disgusting. Worst candy I have ever had.

    Comment by Allison on 5/29/10 at 8:21 pm #
  19. I love the licorice flavor. Unlike you, I look for licorice without molasses because of its bitter note. I believe molasses was originally a cost-saving measure to permit the use of less licorice extract, but, of course, many now expect it. I view anise the same way. Twizzlers Nibs (also made by Y&S) are a good alternative having no molasses or anise. The flavor is quite similar but the texture isn’t as soft. (Regular Twizzlers does have molasses.)

    I’ve only seen the Y&S licorice flavor twice, at K-Mart and Kroger. Both times it was on the closeout rack and I bought all there was. The Hershey website says select Target and K-Mart stores carry it, but I’ve been striking out at Target and haven’t returned to K-Mart, but the lone package I found there may have landed on the closeout rack when someone changed their mind, so I should look again. I’d appreciate hearing of other sightings.

    Comment by David on 9/09/10 at 10:15 am #
  20. What blows my mind is how crap like Twizzlers is still around, but they discontinue this clearly superior product.

    Comment by A Green on 12/09/12 at 8:59 pm #
  21. Congratulations on covering both Hershey’s (however misguided) resurrection of the once-venerated Y&S label, plus your more-than-welcome distinction about how, “the original flavor of licorice is actually licorice.” [emphasis absent]

    The fact that almost all modern mass-production confectioners willingly market (most commonly and usually, imitation-flavored) strawberry or raspberry twists as so-called “RED licorice”, only serves to demonstrate just how far American candy-making has fallen.

    The original Y&S licorice (or liquorice) product was among the most honest recent renditions of this ancient foodstuff. For an illustration of the original Y&S licorice candy, please see:


    For true licorice cognoscenti, these products were NOT “confections”, but apothecary-grade medicines (inter alia) which were intended to serve as digestifs or cough suppressants (for which Glycyrrhiza glabra has long been prized).

    This root’s key therapeutic component, glycyrrhizin (whose sweetness is 50 times that of regular sugars), also has a reputation for healing ulcers, lowering stomach acid levels, relieving heartburn and indigestion, along with being a mild laxative. Licorice also may help alleviate or relieve irritation or inflammation of the bowel, plus mitigate other digestive tract spasms. Its other legendary attributes include beneficial contributions to liver function, increased bile flow, and lowered cholesterol levels.

    For a taste of genuine licorice flavor in its classic “apothecary” form, please consider purchasing the Italian brand of Amarelli confections (website: – email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)). Often, this product will have but one ingredient, namely, “licorice”. Although sometimes bitter, it is, nonetheless, some of the most authentic licorice that modern money can buy (short of chewing the actual, unprocessed root).

    Some other truly worthwhile examples are the Dutch brand, Potter’s Lina (, and the French product, “Cachou Lajaunie”. In both cases, their original and telltale form of small, pinched-off pellets, divulges the original shape of these products as medicinal lozenges (however small). When one considers its historical role and the tremendous expense of cultivating, harvesting, purifying, and manufacturing this one single herbal ingredient, the reputation and general status of genuine licorice becomes apparent.

    I hope that this helps,

    Christopher Stanton

    Comment by Christopher Stanton on 9/17/16 at 11:54 pm #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Next entry: LifeSavers Tangy Fruits Gummies

Previous entry: Kai’s Candy Campaign 2008 Candies
















  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.


    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner






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





Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon


Candy Season Ends

-414 days

Read previous coverage



Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter




These candies will be reviewed shortly: