Jelly Belly: Sours

Jelly Belly: Sours packaging
Image credit: CandyCrate.com

Sorry for the delay in the thick of the season! Things got busy there for a couple weeks, but I’ll try to get back on track.

Today we return to the Jelly Belly family, which we first visited to review their Snapple flavors. This time, it’s their classic Sours lineup, a favorite of mine for years.

Let’s see how they rate!

Size and shape

I won’t belabor this, as Jelly Belly Sours perform identically in this category to their Snapple siblings. Their consistency is impeccable.

4 out of 5 beans

Chewability

Again, consistent with their previous work, these jelly beans are a bit too firm for my liking.

2 out of 5 beans

Texture

This review is turning out to be very brief, but repeating myself would be boring, and everything I said previously about Jelly Belly’s texture still holds up. It is perfect.

5 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor

Flavors

  • :cherries: Cherry
  • :tangerine: Orange
  • :lemon: Lemon
  • :green_apple: Green Apple
  • :grapes: Grape

These delicious beans are full of bold, tart flavor. Sour enough to legitimately be called sour without singeing your taste buds, they take each of their classic individual flavors and ratchet up the acidity a couple notches. As with the heat of spicy food, when having sour candy, you don’t want the sourness to be so extreme that you lose the taste of the base flavors. These could stand to be perhaps just a little more sour, but Jelly Belly does really well at maintaining the flavor.

The cherry is a very authentic cherry flavor. The added tartness of the orange reminds me of perfectly-ripe clementines at their seasonal peak. The lemon is like the jelly-bean-ification of fresh lemonade made with just hint of raw cane sugar. The apple is about as close to a true Granny Smith flavor as I’ve ever had. The grape is… well, the grape isn’t medicinal, at least.

[Aside: The concept of a “sour grape” flavor is tricky. Not for the meaning of the idiom “sour grapes”, but because there is a variety of grape that is somewhat sour—green grapes. But grape candy is always colored purple to represent red grapes. It’s a curious paradox.]

All in all, a delightful collection of flavors that will always be welcome in my jelly bean pantry.

9 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

Once again, Jelly Belly’s chewability makes this test a little difficult, but once you get going, the result is a lovely fruit salad in the mouth. The flavors are not quite as distinct as the Snapple flavors, so they lose their individuality a little bit, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

6 out of 10 beans

Conclusion

Category Score
Size and shape 4/5 beans
Chewability 2/5 beans
Texture 5/5 beans
Taste and flavor 9/10 beans
One-of-each test 6/10 beans
Total 26/35 beans

This review highlights some of the imperfections in this rating system that I devised on a whim when writing my first review almost two years ago. In my previous review, Starburst Ice Cream Flavors received a total of 27 out of 35 beans. On the weakness of their chewability (and the effect that has on the one-of-each test), these Jelly Belly Sours received a 26. Yet, I would happy, repeatedly buy Jelly Belly Sours, and have no intention of ever buying Starburst Ice Cream Flavors again.

One other thing to note: these beans, with their better flavor, tie the score of Starburst’s own sour beans, with their superior chewability. I’ve got a couple more sour options to review, but I can heartily recommend either of these options if you, like me, need that occasional acid fix.


  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.