Jolly Rancher has been one of my go-to jelly bean brands for several years now. (In fact, I’ve been a fan of most candy put out under the Jolly Rancher brand since I was a child, beginning with the original hard candy.) Though the beans are not without their problems, I buy at least one bag a year, and frequently go back for a second bag.
Let’s get to the ratings.
Size and shape
Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are a bit rounder than the traditional bean shape. They don’t have any real concavity to them, which hurts their rating a little in this category, but on the other hand, at least they don’t have any angular quality.
The size is just right. Eating even a single been is satisfying. That said, there does seem to be a higher-than-average number of undersized or malformed beans.
3 out of 5 beans
The effort it takes to chew a Jolly Rancher Jelly Bean—and the inconsistency of such from bean to bean—is their biggest weakness. Some beans chew fairly normally, but some take far too much effort.
2 out of 5 beans
There is a good balance of shell to insides. The insides are smooth with no grain.
The insides are tacky enough that they can stick to your teeth on occasion. Not so much that it puts me off eating them, but it’s noticeable.
3 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Blue Raspberry
- Green Apple
Definitely some classic Jolly Rancher flavors here, but the omission of lemon and cherry (two of my very favorite Jolly Rancher flavors) is disappointing. Also, the blue raspberry beans don't taste very close to their hard candy counterparts.
Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans do a great job of capturing some of the classic Jolly Rancher flavors, so if you’re into Jolly Rancher candies, you will probably like the taste of these beans. The flavors are all very distinct and identifiable.
To me, the best thing about the taste of these beans to me is the jolt of sourness that you get in the juice of about 80% of the beans you eat. They’re not marketed as sour beans, like some I will review later, but the sneaky acidity of these is perfect. It definitely reminds me of eating Jolly Rancher hard candies as a kid. The taste of these beans is what keeps me coming back, year after year.
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
Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans put up a simultaneously amazing and terrible performance on this test. It requires considerable effort to chew six Jolly Rancher beans at once, but a stunning amount of delicious, juicy, tongue-tingling Jolly Rancher flavor is released when your teeth are crushing six beans at the same time.
6 out of 10 beans
They may not be the highest-scoring jelly beans I’ll test this year, but Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans pack a nostalgic flavor punch that will keep me coming back for a bag, year after year.
|Size and shape||3/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||9/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||6/10 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. ↩