Jelly Belly Draft Beer

I think it’s safe to state that Jelly Belly is tops in their field of creatively flavorful jelly beans. Instead of resting on their laurels, they never stop innovating! Their newest product are Draft Beer flavored jelly beans.


I was quite excited to be surprised with free samples to review. I was more excited that they came with an adorably tiny beer mug, which made for a fun photoshoot.


The beans were striking right out of the package in two ways. One, they had Jelly Belly’s new jeweled look in a beautiful gold tone, and two, they had a strong, distinctive scent (regular Jelly Bellies don’t smell).


These amber nuggets smelled boozy and yeasty, like beer does, but also sweet and floral, which made it smell more like beer that had gone a little funky. Or, I guess, like beer that hadn’t finished fermenting and turning its sugar into alcohol.

The Draft Beer beans tasted like a sweetened blonde beer. It started off sweet and honeyed, and then took on a little fermented yeastiness. There was no bitter bite to the end, which I appreciated since it is candy, after all.


I’m a cocktail person, not a beer person (surprise, surprise, I have a sweet tooth), so I wouldn’t buy these for myself. They do, however, win points for novelty, and I can think they’d be a fun gift for beer aficionados. An O, just as a matter of personal preference.

Sunkist Lemon Gummies

I bought these Sunkist Lemon Gummies at the dollar store. There were also Sunkist strawberry gummies there, but I just bought the lemon since I like citrus flavors.

The yellow gummies were shaped like little lemon slices. They were firm with a bouncy bite that was too solid for me to tear cleanly through the gummi in just one bite.

They gummies had a light waxy coating on the outside, I think to keep them from sticking to each other. It left a slight residue on my fingers and was slightly noticeable in the flavor of the gummi as a suggestion of waxy aftertaste.

The flavor of the gummy was great – solid and intense. It was sweet with a slightly bright fruity flavor. There was no sourness to the gummy, just a great mellow lemon drop flavor.

I really enjoyed these gummies. They had an awesome intensity of flavor, and a fruity citrus flavor that I really liked. If only they didn’t have that waxy finish!

Still, an OM, as I found myself chasing away that slight aftertaste by popping additional gummies.


Jelly Belly Pea & Carrots

I’m not sure if these Peas & Carrots mellocreme candies from Jelly Belly are a seasonal Easter treat or not. My little bag was bought at the dollar store, where it was shelved with other Jelly Belly treats. Still, peas and carrots nicely fit in with springtime and bunnies, so it would make a good Easter candy.

Most people probably know mellocreme from candy corn. The peas and carrots had the same grainy, chewy-squishy texture of candy corn, but the flavors were very different.

The orange sherbet flavored carrot cylinders were shaped like Mike & Ikes. They started off tasting like orange sherbet or an orange creamsicle, with a slight orange flavor and a strong dairy component. The finish was a little plasticky/waxy.

The peas were supposed to be green apple flavored and did a pretty spot on job of looking like real peas. They carried just the faintest whiff of artificial green apple flavor – I thought they tasted mostly really off-puttingly medicinal.

While these were a cute idea and fun to play around with, I was not a fan of how they tasted. The fruity flavors were a little off, and the downsides of mellocreme (its weird waxiness and finish) were harder to hide behind such mild flavors. A .

Cybele from Candy Blog reviewed them a year ago, if you want a second opinion.


Snapple Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly was promoting their new line of Snapple-flavored jelly beans at Sweets and Snacks. I picked up several free little sample bags while there and later got a larger free bag in the mail from the folks at Jelly Belly.

The five flavors are fruit punch, kiwi strawberry, mango madness, cranberry raspberry, and pink lemonade. While my bag had all five flavors mixed together, they also come in little bottle-shaped single-flavor containers.

Fruit Punch was dark purple. It started with notes of plum, then became slightly tart before mellowing out. I was pleasantly surprised at how it had a distinctively non-Hawaiian Punch flavor.

Kiwi Strawberry was a mottled pink. It started with the spot-on flavor of strawberry, then took on grassier notes of kiwi. This is one of my go-to Snapple flavors, so I know it well. The jelly bean version was more nuanced than the drink!

Mango Madness was orange. It started with a seedy-mango flavor that then took on some slight tartness. It then become sugary sweet and finished with a plasticky note that I wasn’t a fan of.

Cranberry Raspberry was a dark maroon/red. It tasted like lightly sweetened cranberry juice and had a slight raspberry seediness to the finish. That seedy factor ain’t my thing, but it was a nice representation of what you’d expect cranberry raspberry to be.

Finally, pink lemonade was a translucent pink with no mottles. It had a nice mild lemon flavor to start with a bit of tartness and just a hint of zest around the edge before finishing with a cane sugar sweetness.

These were a nice assortment of flavors with the high quality that you’d expect from Jelly Belly. Nothing too exotic or unexpected, but a solid spin-off/brand partnership. An O.

Cybele reviewed these back in April, if you want a second opinion.


Sunkist Fruit Gems

Jelly Belly recently sent me several free samples of their new products, including a bag of Sunkist Fruit Gems. Wait a second, you may be thinking – what’s new about Sunkist Fruit Gems? Rosa, you took a picture of some back in 2007!

Turns out Fruit Gems are new again. Since Jelly Belly bought the Sunkist line, they revamped it to make it with all natural ingredients. Consequently, their colors are now far more muted without artificial help.

The all natural Fruit Gems come in orange, lemon, grapefruit, raspberry, and blueberry. My bag of 9 was missing the raspberry flavor. Any mathematicians out there want to report on the probability of that happening?

The Fruit Gems retained their original texture – a soft fruit-pate with a granulated sugar shell. It yielded instantly to my bite, and its exposed surfaces were perfectly smooth, with a glossy feel on my tongue.

Orange was mildly sweet with a mellow candied orange flavor that lacked any zesty bite or citrus sourness. Compared to the Sunkist Orange Slices, which I also got as free samples, it was rather muted in flavor.

Lemon had a bright citrus zestiness and a postively tangy lemon flavor. There was a slight bitterness to the finish that I really enjoyed, as it made the flavor feel more genuine.

Grapefruit was pink and tasted just like grapefruit with its characteristic pithiness. Here, too, the finish had an enjoyable bitterness to it.

Finally, the maroon gem was blueberry. Its flavor was more like blueberry jam or that blueberry-ish stuff that they’ll put on your pancakes at IHOP: blueberry-esque rather than like the fresh fruit. It had a deep red fruit flavor and some noticeable tannins.

I enjoyed the lemon and grapefruit flavored ones. Blueberry was decent, and orange was nice but could have been punchier. Overall, I think they still get an OM, though I should note these also come individually wrapped in bulk bins, so you can pick and choose your favorite flavors.

If you want a second opinion, you can read Cybele’s take on them on her site.

Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips

I really enjoy receiving free samples from Jelly Belly. Everyone else contacts me first to ask; Jelly Belly just sends stuff, so I’m always pleasantly surprised to get a package from them.

Case in point, my free sample of these Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips. The press release calls them, “the much anticipated marriage of America’s favorite jelly bean with refined chocolate.” Five flavors of Dips, Very Cherry, Orange, Raspberry, Coconut, and Starwberry, are being released right around now.

I have to admit, I’ve never thought, “Gee, if only this were covered in chocolate,” while eating Jelly Bellies. I was a bit dubious as to how well the pairing of chocolate and bean would work. Turns out, surprisingly well!

To start, these aren’t exactly the same as chocolate-dipped jelly beans. The beans lack their usual hard sugar shell. Instead, it’s a shiny panned chocolate shell with a squishy gooey sticky jelly bean center.

The dark chocolate tasted like dark cocoa powder. While it was possible for me to let the chocolate layer melt away, leaving a naked jelly center, I preferred to chomp them and mix the chocolate flavor into that of the bean.

Very cherry started out lightly sweet and fruity under the chocolate. As the chocolate flavor dissipated, the slightly artificial maraschino cherry flavor came through more strongly.

Orange presented an immediate hit of strong zest/citrus oil flavor. It didn’t taste like orange jelly beans. Instead, it tasted like candied orange rind, which paired splendidly with the chocolate. This was one of my favorites.

Raspberry was also a winner with the chocolate. It let the chocolate come through first. Then its fruitiness kicked in, mostly notes of raisin. I wouldn’t have guessed that it was raspberry.

Coconut was another one that let the chocolate take precedence. It came through as a fragrant, airy, deliciousness nuttiness after the chocolate disappeared.

Finally, strawberry had a bright sweetness with a lovely floralness and a great finish.

These surprised me with their tastiness and addictiveness. An OMG!

Jelly Belly Cocktail Classics

I think Jelly Belly‘s new Cocktail Classics have an awesome tagline: “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” Their press release had another great line, “All the flavors and none of the hangover.”

I’m a cocktail person (I’m too wimpy for beer’s bitterness), so I was excited to see what Jelly Belly’s jelly bean mixologists out together.

There are three new cocktail flavors – Mojito, Pomegranate Cosmo, and Peach Bellini – to add to their three current ones that have been around for two decades – Margarita, Pina Colada, and Strawberry Daiquiri.

The mini sample packs I got had all 6 cocktail flavors. For some reason, the boxed set was missing margarita.

We’ll start with the newbies. Mojito was light green with darker green speckles. Real mojitos are mint, rum, and lime.

Jelly Belly Mojito beans start off brightly tart and zesty with fresh lime flavor. Suddenly, a strong mintiness comes through.

For me, that mintiness was too much, too reminiscent of toothpaste, and I missed any notes of rum. I didn’t like the flavor mix, but I also don’t particularly care for mojitos.

Pomegranate Cosmo was a prettily translucent pink. Its initial bite of red fruitiness that gave way to a darker sweetness reminded me of regular pomegranate Jelly Bellies. I’m not sure I could differentiate the two in a blind taste test. Still, it was quite tasty!

Peach Bellini was another prettily translucent bean, more light orange than peach colored. Bellinis are peach puree with sparkling wine, and I think Jelly Belly nailed it here.

The bean version tasted fresh and fragant, with a lovely floral peachiness. There’s a champagne undertone that dances around the edge of bitterness in the finish.

And now, the old hats:

Margarita, a solid, translucent green, has always been one of my favorite Jelly Bellies. It tastes of tart citrus and lime, with a boozy undertone.

Pina Colada, yellow, starts with the tartness of pineapple, then gives way to a round coconut flavor and a sugary sweetness after the shell is gone. I like the pineapple component, but for some reason, I don’t like the mix of jelly bean texture with coconut flavor.

Strawberry Daiquiri is a solid, faintly mottled pink. It starts with an initial strong flash of genuine strawberry flavor with a hint of lime and a seedy raspberry undertone.

I enjoyed Pomegranate Cosmo, Peach Bellini, and Margarita enough to want to scoop them out of a Jelly Belly bulk bin in the future, so they get OMs. While I was less enamored of the other three, I did enjoy tasting them, so Os.

Kudos to Jelly Belly for a fun flavor mix. And kudos to Cybele for finding a fun way to photograph them (I wish I’d thought of that!)

Jelly Belly Honey Beans

Jelly Belly just debuted their 92nd flavor of jelly bean – a honey bean, infused with real wildflower honey. They’ve got a descriptive PR team working for them. Check out the press release:

“A comforting and soothing flavor, Honey Bean Jelly Belly bean is golden yellow and drenched in the taste of honey from the chewy center to the tender shell of the jelly bean… Savor it for the straight-from-the-hive flavor along with a cup of tea.”

The beans themselves are beautiful – shiny beads of amber that almost look translucent. I want to string them together and turn them into jewelry. They would make great drop earrings!

As usual, Jelly Belly has managed to be pretty spot on in their flavor capture. They taste just like little drops of honey – sweet and floral – but they have the gelatinous and slightly grainy texture of jelly beans.

As Cybele noted in her review, these aren’t a mindlessly-chomp-through-a-whole-bag candy. The inevitably saccharine nature of their flavor means that they get to be too much after a while. But they are nice in small doses, and they seem like they’d play well with other beans. An O.

Jelly Belly Cold Stone Ice Cream Parlor Mix

We used to have a Cold Stone creamery by campus, but it recently went out of business. Fortunately, Jelly Belly has a new-ish line of Cold Stone creamery flavored jelly beans, dubbed their ice cream parlor mix. Unfortunately, the bag came with a coupon for ice cream that I can’t use because there’s no longer a Cold Stone within walking distance.

These come in five flavors named after Cold Stone ice creams:

Chocolate Devotion – chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie and fudge. This bean has a dark cocoa edge to it that’s quite reminiscent of brownies. It’s super chocolate-y, which I appreciate, but I’m not a big fan of the chocolate with the jelly bean texture.

Our Strawberry Blonde: strawberry ice cream, graham cracker pie crust, strawberries, caramel and whipped topping. The strawberry flavor is quite bright. You can almost taste the seeds. In fact, the seedy finish makes me think more raspberry than strawberry. I don’t get the caramel and graham cracker, though.

Birthday Cake Remix – cake batter ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, brownie and fudge. The bean is festive looking – pale cream with rainbow speckles. It tastes like vanilla cake, like the kind that comes out of a box of mix, with a slight hint of chocolate to the finish. That hint is so slight that I wonder if I’m imagining it because of the flavor description.

Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip – mint ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie and fudge. It tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream with a refreshing finish. Like the chocolate, however, it’s just not a flavor I enjoy in jelly bean form.

Apple Pie A La Cold Stone – French vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, graham cracker pie crust, apple pie filling and caramel. Strong caramel and canned apple pie filling flavors make this thing too sweet. I’m not a fan.

Overall, the flavors are interesting, but they’re not for me. And they don’t mix well. I chased a mint with a chocolate and got a wave of bitter. Blech! An O from me, but an A for effort.

Finally a personal note – I’m playing in my last Yale Concert Band concert tonight, April 3, 7:30, in Woolsey Hall. We’re playing the Rite of Spring and the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto (with an amazing Yale School of Music professor of clarineting soloist), so it should be a good one – a great way to finish off my YCB career. Come listen if you happen to live near New Haven/Yale!

Jelly Belly Citrus Mix

I can’t recall ever having worked with Jelly Belly before, so I was quite surprised to find a free sample tin of their new Sunkist Citrus Mix in my PO Box. I’m not exactly sure how they found me (probably via a PR company that I’ve worked with on another candy), or my address, but there are more frightening invasions of privacy than Jelly Belly knowing my PO Box address, especially if it means surprise deliveries of free Jelly Bellies.

I was immediately taken in by the beautiful tin that these beans came in. I’m used to eating my Jelly Bellies out of plastic branded bags since I buy them from bulk bins. The tin is slightly smaller than that of Altoid’s Sours. Its made of burnished metal, and its clear plastic lid is adorned with a Japanese-y drawing of a blossoming branch. It’s absolutely lovely and a total keeper. My only issue is that the script and font are a significant departure from the Jelly Belly logo and font, which confuses their brand image.

The flavors are Sunkist Lime, Sunkist Pink Grapefruit, Sunkist Orange, Sunkist Lemon, and Sunkist Tangerine. I wish I had easy access to a candy store that sells Jelly Bellies (being a carless out of state college student, I don’t) so that I could compare these to Jelly Belly’s usual Lime, Pink Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, and Tangerine flavors. Even though the press release claims that they’re new, my guess is that they’re the same; Jelly Belly is just using the Sunkist name to push these beans, which are “made with real juices, purees, and citrus oils.”

The press release claims that the flavors are “so authentic that even the aroma of citrus peel comes through each bite.” As expected from Jelly Belly, the flavors are indeed authentic. Lime has that zesty astringency that makes caparinhas so tasty, while lemon has a sweeter, brighter tartness. Like Cybele did in her review, I didn’t realize that the mix contained both tangerine and orange. They look the same to me, so only one made it into the shot. While I can tell the tangerine and the orange apart by taste, I don’t know which is which. One is sweet and round while the other has more of an orange zest kick to it.

The pink grapefruit was my favorite, not because grapefruit is such a wondrous citrus flavor, though it is, but because Jelly Belly did such a great job of capturing the unique taste of grapefruit. The bean not only tasted like grapefruit but also tasted like grapefruit smells, if that makes any sense at all.

I thought this was a great mix. Then again, I expected to love it, as citrus flavors are my favorite fruit flavors. I polished off most of the tin in one go as I typed this review, and now my tongue has taken on a light tingle, from all the acidity, I guess. An OMG.