Well, it’s Bunny Day in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Jellybean Island is abuzz with villagers looking for hidden eggs and crafting egg-themed furniture and decor. That also means that it’s time for the season finale review here on A Boy and His Beans!
In the four years since I first reviewed Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans, that product has been given the new moniker of “Big Chewy Nerds” and made a year-round offering. They still release them in easter-themed packages with “Jelly Beans” on them, though, and they’ve also come out with a sour variant, so here we are today reviewing what are officially called “Big Chewy Nerds Sour Jelly Beans”!
I have always loved Nerds jelly beans, and have been looking forward to this review all season. Since it’s been so long since the first Nerds review, I’m going to take a fresh look at each category, without even looking back at what I wrote before. Let’s get hoppin’!
Size and shape
Nerds jelly beans have never really tried to be bean shaped, and becoming a year round product without “beans” in the name certainly that hasn’t changed that. They are pretty consistent from bean to bean, though.
The average size is just a little over what I would consider ideal, regardless of shape. And when it comes to their shape, most of them look like slightly squished spheres.
While the shells are indeed still bumpy, one wouldn’t say that they resemble just larger versions of the much more erratic shapes of classic Nerds (see above). They are much more uniform in their bumpiness. It’s sort of what you might imagine if they were a golf ball with its dimples inverted, sticking out instead of in.
So, points for consistency and size in the right ballpark, but I wish the shape were either more bean-like or more Nerd-like.
3 out of 5 beans
Nerds jelly beans have a very distinct shell that takes just the right amount of effort to crunch through. Once you’re through, the insides chew very easily. I wish they’d offer just a bit more resistance, though.
4 out of 5 beans
That aforementioned crunchy shell adds such a unique and pleasing element to the texture of these jelly beans. It breaks up and starts working its way through the insides, continuing to crunch all the way through the chewing process, without ever making it feel gritty.
The only textural downside is that the insides are very smooth, they have a bit of a gummy (in the chewing gum sense) quality to them.
4 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Braniac Blue Raspberry
- Streaming Strawberry Lemonade
- Wild Watermelon
- Blood Orange Byte
These beans really punch you in the face with their sourness! I love that so much. I think the original Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans were fairly acidic in their own right, so I’m glad that they really ratcheted it up for the sour edition.
It is a bit of a double-edged sword, though. The sourness masks some of the underlying fruit flavors. You can taste the differences between them, and they all taste pretty much like what they purport to be, but if you were just eating them without looking and not thinking about it, it might not be immediately obvious what flavor you had grabbed.
But leaving that minor quibble aside, the raw sour pleasure that these beans deliver is just delightful.
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
There are only four flavors of beans in this package, but being a bit oversized helps them fill out the volume aspect of this test.
Given the level of sourness in an individual or pair of these beans, it’s not a shock that four of them really pack a punch. Unfortunately, the flavors’ individuality gets lost amid all the sourness. The dominant flavor that rises to the top is orange. It’s a pleasant flavor, just not very complex.
7 out of 10 beans
|Size and shape||3/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||9/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||7/10 beans|
Now that I’ve rated these beans, I’m going to look back at the previous Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans review. A few stray observations:
- I rated the first three categories identically, but the big sour taste of this set clearly left a bigger impression on me, resulting
- They seem to have gotten better at having beans of a consistent size and consistent bumpiness.
- The sour bag I’m tasting from for this review identified its flavors, but the classic bag I reviewed in 2016 did not, and I couldn’t figure out what the unnamed green flavor was back then. It now seems likely it was watermelon, a flavor I’m not naturally very in tune with.
- Given the choice of both kinds of Nerds jelly beans, I would probably always pick up the sour variety.
This is an excellent set of jelly beans that I will certainly be purchasing again in the future!
That brings our fifth season to a close here on A Boy and His Beans. Looking ahead to next year, I’m a bit concerned about my ability to find new things to review, without resorting to just going through every one of Jelly Belly’s eighty different sets. If you see something unique, I’d very much appreciate a heads up about it!
Thanks for reading, and take care of yourselves out there.
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. ↩