Today we return to one of my favorite candy brands, whose Original Flavors jelly beans received the first review on this website, Jolly Rancher!
Here we will review the other major Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans variety, Wild Berry. In the past I have also seen a Fruit Smoothie Flavors variety, but I haven’t seen those in a couple of years, so they may be discontinued.
Being a fan of the Jolly Rancher Original Flavors beans, I expect to like these pretty well. Let’s find out how they rate.
Size and shape
Size and shape continues to be a good category for Jolly Rancher.
As previously mentioned, they are big enough for one bean to be enjoyable on its own. With smaller beans, I tend to reach for two at a time, but it’s much easier for me to pace myself and just eat one at a time with these beans.
They still get a minor deduction for not attempting a dimple, and there’s a small, acceptable number of accidents (like double beans), but the shape actually seems more consistent than the Original Flavors I reviewed last year.
4 out of 5 beans
As with the Original Flavors, the Wild Berry beans are just a bit over the line when it comes to the amount of chewing effort required. Also, as before, this can vary noticeably from bean to bean.
2 out of 5 beans
I feel very confident that the base recipe for these Wild Berry beans is the same as their Original Flavors counterparts, and as such I think my thoughts on texture are basically the same. Looking back, though, I was pretty terse in my first review for this site, as I was finding my voice. Therefore, I will expand upon my original thoughts.
The texture seems like a very classic jelly bean texture to me. The shell cracks and breaks apart in decent size chunks on first bite. The insides are meaty, but break down quickly enough that you’re not chewing forever.
With the perspective of over a dozen more reviews since then, I think the category rating of 3 out of 5 beans was somewhat low. I wouldn’t call the texture perfect, but it’s very very good, so I will bump the category rating up here.
4 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Wild Strawberry
- Blue Raspberry
- Mountain Berry
- Raspberry Lemonade
I'm fairly certain that the "Wild" Strawberry here is the same as the regular Strawberry from Original Flavors, but I'm unable to taste them side-by-side and confirm, at this point. I'm even more certain that the Blue Raspberry is exactly the same. It's somewhat disappointing to get two repeat flavors (out of only five) in a different variety.
Unsurprisingly, these beans taste great. To quickly reiterate a lot of what I said about the Original Beans: the fruit flavors are bold and distinct (though I’m not entirely sure what a “mountain berry” is), with a nice balance of sweetness and sourness.
The combo flavors represent both of their constituents faithfully, though the lemon in the Raspberry Lemonade could be even more sour, to better match the classic lemon Jolly Rancher hard candy flavor.
8 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
I was mixed on this test with the Original Flavors, owing in part to the effort it required to chew six of those beans. The Wild Berry beans perform slightly better due to the simple fact that they only present me with five flavors to chew at once.
This line from that previous review still holds true, though, which makes me a happy camper:
[A] stunning amount of delicious, juicy, tongue-tingling Jolly Rancher flavor is released when your teeth are crushing [five] beans at the same time.
7 out of 10 beans
The Wild Berry variety of Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans manages to eke out 2 more total beans than the Original Flavors. While not numerically one of the highest scoring beans on this site, they’re definitely in the 2nd tier, and that big Jolly Rancher flavor will keep at least one variety of them on my shopping list every year.
|Size and shape||4/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||8/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||7/10 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. ↩