Brach's Island Fruit Jelly Beans

Brach's Island Fruit Jelly Beans packaging
Image credit: Walmart.com

I’ve been sitting here for five minutes trying to come up with an introduction this review, but I’m just so stupefied by my first taste of these beans that I’m at a loss to be clever.

Faithful readers will recall that Brach’s is the brand which I have most consistently savaged on this site, but much to my amazement, these jelly beans are actually good! It seems there’s a major difference between what Brach’s dubs “jelly bird eggs”, which were terrible, and these more traditionally-named “jelly beans”.

Like the Teenee Beanee Island Breeze collection, this bag emits a powerful wave of tropical aromas when opened. Well, one tropical aroma, at least—coconut is the dominant smell, here.

But how do they rate? Let’s find out!

Size and shape

Brach’s jelly beans are much more appropriately sized and formed than their jelly bird eggs. Average size is nearly perfect, just a hair on the large side. There’s some variance, but it’s not too bad. (I feel like I’ve been harping on that a bit too much lately.)

The shape is solid. It’s generally smooth and well-rounded, but a touch squat in the smaller dimension, and without a dimple.

Also, the beans are speckled, which makes it easier to tell which is which among the similar colors, given the key on the bag.

3 out of 5 beans

Chewability

Brach’s really nailed this category. I can find no fault with it at all. The shell has substance, and the insides require just the right amount of effort.

5 out of 5 beans

Texture

The shell of these jelly beans breaks down into fine particles, which isn’t quite as good as hunks, but the particles do perfectly walk the line between grit and powder.

The insides have a very good smoothness and consistency.

4 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor

Flavors

  • :tropical_drink: Melon Punch
  • :dragon: Dragon Fruit
  • :melon: Mango
  • :strawberry: :banana: Strawberry Banana
  • :palm_tree: Coconut
  • :pineapple: Pineapple

First, I’ll note (as I did in last year’s Gimbal’s review) that I will not be tasting the coconut bean. My wife did taste it, and she reports that it has a really strong coconut flavor.

“It’s fine, but it’s not blowing me away. But I also eat coconut infrequently, so I don’t have a good real-life benchmark for how it should taste.”

As for the worthwhile flavors, they’re all pretty tasty. I think that the pineapple is the most accurate I’ve yet to come across, and melon punch tastes of both honeydew and cantaloupe. Mango and dragon fruit are both very nice, though I must admit I’ve never tasted dragon fruit in real life, so I can’t speak much to its accuracy.

Strawberry banana is the oddest of the bunch. On the initial bite, it tastes like there is a cinnamon element in the mix. Then, about halfway through chewing, the strawberry and banana Flavors come out and remain present through the finish. Both are distinguishable and realistic.

All in all, coconut aside, a nice batch of flavors.

7 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

(Except coconut, of course.)

This is a nice combo of beans. The flavors are all pretty distinct to begin with, and their individual identities hold up well through most of the chewing. The volume and chewability of five of these beans is just right.

8 out of 10 beans

Conclusion

Category Score
Size and shape 3/5 beans
Chewability 5/5 beans
Texture 4/5 beans
Taste and flavor 7/10 beans
One-of-each test 8/10 beans
Total 27/35 beans

I am simply blown away by how well these beans performed after three previous bags of horrid offerings from Brach’s! 27 beans is the third-highest rating (numerically) ever awarded this site (though there are three varieties tied for second place with 28 beans).

I actually have yet another bag from Brach’s, and now I’m looking forward to reviewing it. What a pleasant surprise!


  1. 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.