Last season, Penny’s spice bean guest review featured the Spiced Jumbo Jelly Beans of the George J. Howe company, and today we take a look at their fruit-flavored siblings! I’m writing this without looking back on that review, to avoid biasing my own opinions on the success (or failure) of these beans. Let’s see what I think!
Size and shape
I’ve now reviewed several varieties that bill themselves as “jumbo” jelly beans, and these are by far the best looking ones I’ve seen. The size is just right for what I would consider to be jumbo, the shape is beautifully beany with a nice dimple, and they are highly consistent in both of those aspects. There is one double bean in the bag, and a few of the dimples are a bit sharp, but it’s not enough for me to dock a full been from this near-perfect category.
5 out of 5 beans
Chewability can be a major concern with jumbo jelly beans, given the inherent difficulty presented by their size, but these Howe jumbos are easy enough to sink your teeth into. They’re not too soft, though; they’re just substantial enough to satisfy.
4 out of 5 beans
Howe continues to impress in this category. The shells are very smooth on the outside and break into hunks of good size and pleasant fine crystals when bitten. The insides are also quite smooth. Nothing to complain about here!
5 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
This bag presents us with the classic six-flavor assortment for fruit beans, and they all taste good and are distinct enough from each other.
Cherry is the standout, to me, possibly due to my bias toward cherry flavors, but it’s also the strongest individual flavor. Orange and lime are probably next in line, still representing their flavors clearly. Strawberry and lemon are good, but more subtle. They might be hard to pinpoint if you ate one without looking.
Grape is the biggest head-scratcher. The grape flavor is there, but there’s also a subtle undertone of licorice. I like to imagine that someone was advocating for licorice beans to be included, got overruled and ordered to make it grape instead, but they still snuck in some of the anise flavoring into the grape mix.
Not a mind-blowing explosion of flavor here, but a very good effort.
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
Per standard editorial policy, beans advertised as “giant” or “jumbo” are exempt from this category.
Leaving out the one-of-each rating, we are left with an impressive 21 out of a possible 25 beans for this offering from the George J. Howe company! Lovers of jumbo jelly beans and classic flavors will find a lot to like here.
|Size and shape||5/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||7/10 beans|
I reserve the right to excuse certain flavors from this test that would ruin it for all the other flavors. ↩