You might be wondering why I didn’t post any offseason reviews. Well, I did intend to, but a funny thing happened. About a week after posting the climactic Easter Sunday review, I opened up the next bag in my queue, poured them into the jelly bean bowl on my desk, and started to sample them. Unfortunately, I was so disappointed with them that I never found the motivation to finish the review. Despite the fact that, yes, Brach’s beans had a poor track record, I actually went into this bag with optimism. The wildly different packaging and promise of an unconventional sour liquid center gave me hope for a better Brach’s experience. Alas, the beans sat mostly untouched on my desk for 10 months.
So here we stand, ready for another great season of jelly bean reviews, and I feel duty-bound to complete this review before continuing on to the next bag.
Let’s get it over with.
Size and shape
The bag advertises these beans as “giant”, and they aren’t kidding. These beans are about 50% bigger than the previous largest bean, the Russell Stovers. I was annoyed with Russell Stover for making theirs that large, but in this case, at least Brach’s is explicitly pitching these as giant. And if they weren’t giant, the liquid center wouldn’t be very effective. Still, they’re too big to comfortably eat more than one; more on that later.
The shape is pretty decent. They make a concerted effort to have them actually be shaped like beans, which is great. Weirdly, the packaging doesn’t depict them that way, instead showing them as simple prolate spheroids.
3 out of 5 beans
This question is a bit hard to tackle when I’ve left these out and exposed to the air for 10 months. They’ve grown quite stale at this point, making the shell rather hard and crunchy.
Digging through the repressed memories for how they were when I first opened the bag, I’d say they were decently easy to chew. The shell is thick, but wasn’t super hard to get through, when fresh. The sheer size of them does make chewing a bit more of a chore, of course, so I’ll have to penalize slightly for that here, too.
3 out of 5 beans
Despite not being a part of the jelly “bird egg” family, these beans retain the typical Brach’s gritty shell texture, which is a shame. As before, the shell tramples over the relatively good texture of the insides, which are also helped by the liquid center contributing some moisture to the whole situation.
2 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
These jelly beans do not taste good. Perhaps most offensively, they are not in the least sour, as advertised. Most of the flavors taste artificial (the cherry either doesn’t taste artificial or I’ve been so conditioned to enjoy traditional artificial cherry flavor that I don’t notice) and the taste of raw sugar from the shell dominates the palate.
1 out of 10 beans
The one-of-each test
Perhaps the ultimate test of a bag of jelly beans is how enjoyable it is to take one of each flavor and eat them all at the same time.1
Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent. Might break my jaw. They’re just too big. But I guess part of that’s on me for letting them get so stale. One could argue that I should exempt them from this subcategory, but I know I would hate the experience, based on tasting each individually, so I’m gonna score it anyway.
0 out of 10 beans
Brach’s gonna Brach, I guess. Tune in next week for something that should be at least moderately enjoyable!
|Size and shape||3/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||1/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||0/10 beans|
This test is specific to fruit flavors only. While non-fruit flavors like licorice or buttered popcorn may be welcome, they are exempt from this test. Because that’s just nasty. ↩