A few weeks ago, I reviewed what I called the “second edition” of Trolli Sour Brite Jelly Beans. I called it an “unprecedented case” in that review, but I was forgetting the interesting case of Sour Patch Jelly Beans later becoming Sour Patch Kids Jelly Beans. Yes, in this case, the exact name was different, but in spirit, it was the second edition of Sour Patch Kids jelly beans.
Then, lo and behold, mere days after writing the Trolli second edition review, I was out shopping for new jelly bean sets that I might have missed, and I discovered a third edition of Sour Patch Kids jelly beans has been released! I don’t know exactly when in the couple of years since I purchased/reviewed the second edition that these were brought to market, but there is now a third distinct edition of Sour Patch Kids jelly beans since the inception of this site. (And just for clarity: Each of these packages was bought from a brick-and-mortar store in the Rochester, New York, area.)
I noted in the second edition review that the first edition Sour Patch Jelly Beans were manufactured by Mondelēz International, but that they had switched to Frankford Candy for the second edition. This third edition brings it back to Mondelēz International, but it’s definitely not the same as the first edition from them. For starters, this new edition includes the recent fifth standard Sour Patch Kids flavor, blue raspberry, but physically they also are clearly different from the first edition. (Let’s be honest: I have no real memory of the first edition; I’m basing this on a present-day reading of that 2016 review.)
Let’s dig into the details!
Size and shape
Sour Patch (Kids) jelly beans have never scored highly in this category, and the trend continues with this set. The variation in both size and shape is off the charts. The shape variation is so extreme that it’s actually hard to ascertain what the average size is. Some are tiny and elongated, some are large and more like flattened spheres. There were also four double-beans in the package, too.
The best I can say for these beans is that they aren’t excessively large and there were no malformed beans in the lot.
1 out of 5 beans
This third edition also fares the worst of its family in this category. The beans collapse extremely quickly with very little resistance. That’s better than being too hard to chew, but you know me, I like the bean to bite back a little.
3 out of 5 beans
Here we come to our first major difference between this third edition and its ancestors. Whereas previous Sour Patch (Kids) jelly beans have employed a coating on the outside of the beans to give them an immediate pop of acidity upon hitting the tongue, the third edition eschews that approach and embraces a more traditional smooth-shelled approach. I turned on the matte finish in the second edition review, so I consider this to be a significant improvement.
The rest of the textural experience is just average. The shell doesn’t chunk very well, and the insides are not very grainy, but not super smooth, either. But it’s fine.
3 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Blue Raspberry
Sour Patch has again done a really excellent job representing the flavors of their core gummy candy product with these jelly beans.
Lime is the weakest of the bunch, consistently falling flat most of the time. All of the others are quite good, especially my favorites: Redberry, Lemon, and Blue Raspberry. Orange is accurate, but has never been one of my favorite Sour Patch flavors.
One minor issue with this package is that the intensity of sourness varies notably from bean to bean. The peak acidity for a given bean is just perfect, though.
7 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
This is a wonderful five-bean experience with a powerful (but not overpowering) burst of acidity and an easy chew. The flavors don’t stay quite as distinct as they did in the second edition’s excellent performance of this test, but still, one-of-each is probably my preferred way to enjoy these beans.
8 out of 10 beans
The third edition’s total score places it in between the first and second editions. While I appreciated the smooth shells for the first time, it took slight steps backwards in some areas. It’s a good effort, but given the range of great sour jelly bean options, I probably wouldn’t buy them again.
|Size and shape||1/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||7/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||8/10 beans|
I reserve the right to excuse certain flavors from this test that would ruin it for all the other flavors. ↩