Waterbridge Gourmet Jelly Beans

Waterbridge Gourmet Jelly Beans packaging
Image credit: CandyFunhouse.ca

It’s the debut of a new brand here on A Boy and His Beans! As previously noted, it’s getting harder and harder to locate new beans in my local area, so I’m increasingly searching online for beans from away. Waterbridge is an Irish candy brand that also distributes to Canada, and I ordered these beans from a Toronto-based online candy store.

Will there be any major differences in how the Irish treat their jelly beans? Let’s find out!

Size and shape

Waterbridge Gourmet Jelly Beans have a laudable consistency in both size and shape! There are absolutely zero small or large outliers, nor are there any malformed beans. At about a third larger than a Jelly Belly bean, their size is perfect.

The only knock against them in this category is that the shape is not as bean-like as others who dare to claim that their jelly beans are “gourmet”, but it’s not bad, by any means. I’m glad that they at least make a solid attempt at the dimple, but it mostly results in a bean that is rounded everywhere except for one flatter side.

4 out of 5 beans

Chewability

These beans chew very well. In both this category and the next, they remind me a lot of Just Born Jelly Beans. There’s enough heft that a single bean sticks around long enough to be an enjoyable chew by itself, without wearing out your jaw. Teeth sticking is minimal.

5 out of 5 beans

Texture

While they do not have quite as nice a shell as the aforementioned Just Borns, this is still a strong category. The smoothness of the shell is similar, and when broken up it is not gritty, but its thinness is a slight disappointment. It goes right to fine crystals, rather than breaking into nice hunks.

The insides are also pleasantly smooth, like the Just Borns.

4 out of 5 beans

Taste and flavor

Waterbridge Gourmet Jelly Beans, sorted by flavor

Flavors

  • :candy: Bubblegum
  • :lemon: :green_heart: Lemon & Lime
  • :eggplant: Passion Fruit
  • :palm_tree: :pineapple: Piña Colada
  • :heart: Pink Grapefruit
  • :herb: :ice_cream: Mint Sorbet
  • :fr: :icecream: French Vanilla
  • :beer: Cola
  • :watermelon: Watermelon
  • :tropical_drink: Tropical Punch
  • :tomato: :apple: Cranberry & Apple
  • :pear: Pear
  • :strawberry: Strawberry
  • :black_circle: English Blackberry
  • :lemon: Sour Lemon
  • :white_large_square: Marshmallow
  • :palm_tree: Coconut
  • :green_apple: Apple
  • :strawberry: :milk_glass: Strawberry Smoothie
  • :wavy_dash: Licorice
  • :fire: Cinnamon
  • :candy: :popcorn: Butter Popcorn
  • :tangerine: Tangerine
  • :peach: Peachy Pie
  • :large_blue_circle: Blueberry
  • :pineapple: Pineapple
  • :grapes: Grape
  • :cherries: Wild Cherry
  • :coffee: Café Latte
  • :dango: Candy Floss
  • :heart: Raspberry
  • :banana: :ice_cream: Banana Split
  • :tomato: Pomegranate
  • :tumbler_glass: Butterscotch
  • :melon: Mango
  • :kiwi_fruit: Kiwi

At 36 flavors strong, Waterbridge offers the second largest assortment that I have yet reviewed, second only to the 41 flavors of Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans. One bone I have to pick with Waterbridge, though, is that this 150-gram package is not large enough to guarantee getting at least one of every flavor. They even make a point of putting fine print notifying the buyer that they explicitly do not guarantee this (implicitly promising that you will not get all of the flavors) under the flavor list on the bag. And indeed I only counted 30 of the 36 flavors in tasting through the bag.

Compounding the annoyance, the visual differentiation between flavors with the similar base colors is very hard to detect in some cases, so trying to pick between Strawberry (yum!) and Cinnamon (yuck!) beans is a crap shoot. Same for Tangerine vs. Piña Colada and Café Latte vs. Cola. Some of the six flavors I could not identify may well be hidden within the remaining beans I have yet to eat.

Bellyaching aside, I am happy to report that these beans from across the pond taste great! Once the bean is in the mouth, the flavors were all very easy to identify, given the list on the back of the package, and none of them were truly disappointing (excepting my known personal deplorables, Cinnamon and Coconut). Some highlights and notables, in no particular order:

  • The Blueberry is the best I’ve ever encountered at zinging you with the strong flavor that a blueberry at peak ripeness has.
  • I can’t quite put my finger on what, exactly, but there’s something really nice about this particular Licorice flavor.
  • Sour Lemon is great, but to beat one of my favorite drums: All Lemon beans should be sour, just like the fruit.
  • Strawberry and Strawberry Smoothie are very distinct, with the latter bringing some strong lactose game.
  • Speaking of lactose, Café Latte feels appropriately both milky and sweet.
  • I believe that Jelly Belly has a Cola flavor, but this is the first Cola bean that I have reviewed on this site, and it really captures the flavor very well.
  • I’m not huge fans of these flavors (in any context), but they are the first of their kind that I’ve seen in jelly bean form, so bonus credit for that:
    • Butterscotch
    • Mint Sorbet
    • Caramel Popcorn
  • Other semi-offbeat flavors that I really liked:
    • Tropical Punch
    • English Blackberry

This is a really nice set of flavors with a good mix of regular and not-so-regular fruits, plus some interesting dessert and wildcard flavors. If I lived in a country where these were regularly distributed and I didn’t have to pay exorbitant shipping costs to get them, they would absolutely have a spot in my regular rotation!

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

Having learned a lesson about how long it takes to chew a mere dozen beans, and harkening back again to the last super-mondo package I reviewed (Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans), I will once more perform the one-of-each test by excerpting a reasonable half-dozen common fruit flavors from this assortment:

  1. Wild Cherry
  2. Strawberry
  3. Tangerine
  4. Sour Lemon
  5. Apple
  6. Grape

And immediately I regret this, due to the previously-noted confusion between Wild Cherry and Cinnamon beans :unamused:

Fortunately, the other fruits mostly tempered the cinnamon enough to weather it. I also tried a few other six-fruit assortments that I won’t list out here. One benefit to having so many flavors is that there are quite a few good multi-bean combos that one can play around with to find their favorite.

Six of these beans is a good amount to give you a substantial chew without overly fatiguing your jaw. The flavors all hold up, too. Starting with good, distinct flavors helps them maintain their identity in a group of several others.

8 out of 10 beans

Conclusion

Category Score
Size and shape 4/5 beans
Chewability 5/5 beans
Texture 4/5 beans
Taste and flavor 9/10 beans
One-of-each test 8/10 beans
Total 30/35 beans

Big news, folks! This outstanding assortment of jelly beans has tied the site record, set in 2019 by Trader Joe’s Gourmet Jelly Beans. What an exciting and impressive debut for the Waterbridge brand! If only they were more readily available here in the U.S.


  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.