Welcome to season four of A Boy and His Beans! Let’s begin with a short programming note. After last Easter, I stopped lying to myself and gave up the pretense that I would review jelly Beans throughout the year, accepting the fact that adding new reviews will continue to be something I do during the Easter season. Hopefully that isn’t terribly disappointing to you, but isn’t there some joy in the anticipation of the next season, too? With that out of the way, let’s kick it off.
Batting leadoff and easing us in to the 2019 season is a Jelly Belly/DC Comics cross-promotional package that honors the Justice League with a set of five flavors representing Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the Flash.
The package bills these as “heroic” and “sparkling” flavors. Will they live up to that hype? Read on.
As with other recent Jelly Belly reviews, they are so amazingly consistent with their size, shape, and chewability that I will refer you to my past Jelly Belly reviews (Snapple, Sours, and Soda Pop Shoppe) for details on those categories.
Size and shape
4 out of 5 beans
2 out of 5 beans
The texture of these beans actually diverges slightly from the standard Jelly Belly texture in service of contributing to the “sparkling” nature of the flavors.
I don’t know how they’re doing it, but I am actually very impressed with how well Jelly Belly has gotten these beans to reasonably emulate the effervescence of sparkling fruit beverages. It seems like the insides are standard Jelly Belly insides, but the shell breaks up into a very fine, almost crystalline substance that doesn’t become powdery or mealy, and adds a, well, sparkle to the flavors.
It’s quite a pleasant experience!
5 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Sparkling Sour Apple (Aquaman)
- Sparkling Blueberry (Superman)
- Sparkling Very Cherry (Wonder Woman)
- Sparkling Wild Blackberry (Batman)
- Sparkling Sour Lemon (The Flash)
Unfortunately, the actual fruit flavors themselves leave a bit to be desired. Sour apple and sour lemon work great in conjunction with their sparkling shells, but blueberry and blackberry are very muted, and you really have to work to identify their flavors. The cherry falls somewhere in between. Maybe the stock Jelly Belly blueberry and blackberry are this subtle, as well, but I definitely remember the stock Very Cherry flavor having more zip, and it seems like the sparkliness is dampening that flavor.
For a superhero-themed package billing itself as having “heroic flavors”, I would expect all of the flavors to punch me in the mouth, so to speak, not just two of them.
5 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
My overall complaint about the lack of flavor intensity in the individual beans hurts the one-of-each test, as well. The sour flavors salvage it to some degree, but the blandness of the others just muddies the whole experience.
As in previous Jelly Belly reviews, this category again takes a hit due to their sub-par chewability.
4 out of 10 beans
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a novelty promotional package fares worse than previous Jelly Bean offerings. Still, I was impressed with the way they were able to take their base Flavors and make them into “sparkling” variants. I’d jump on a whole package of Jelly Belly Sparkling Sours, if they ever release that.
|Size and shape||4/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||5/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||4/10 beans|
Last time I reviewed Jelly Belly, I said:
“Next up in the Jelly Belly family will be their take on organic jelly beans, so stay tuned for that.”
That plan changed when I stumbled across this Justice League package, but I promise, that’ll be the next Jelly Belly set I review!
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. ↩