Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Clif Builder's Bar Chocolate Mint

Here I go again, eating my dad’s food. But when he buys protein bars that I’ve never tried before, how can I resist? Plus, I don’t have much longer before I’m living by myself 8 hours away and can’t steal other people’s food anymore. ;)

Anyway, he went from consuming copious quantities of Blueberry Crisp Clif bars to buying boxes of Chocolate Mint Builder’s Bars. So that’s what I pulled out of the cupboard the other night, noting how big it was for a 20-gram protein bar.

It’s very attractive looking. Call me a snob, but there’s something about a perfectly smooth, creamy-looking chocolate coating that makes me want to sink my teeth into a bar, more so than when I get a melted, mangled one. It smells minty, sort of like a Thin Mint, just like any other mint chocolate protein bar I’ve reviewed.

It’s surprisingly mild, though. The peppermint flavor is very light when compared to Balance Bar’s or Nogii’s variations. It’s more milk chocolate than Thin Mint. The inside is a combination of a dense, crispy base and a creamy top layer, which seems to carry most of the mint flavoring. These two textures really play well off each other: the crisp is denser than a Rice Krispies Treat and reminds me of Oreos or even the inside of a Thin Mint, while the top layer adds a smooth and creamy touch that just feels good on your tongue. The coating tastes just as good as it looks--quality milk chocolate with a smooth and rich texture. It is a good complement to the light mint.

I could have done with a bit more mint flavor in this bar, but overall it’s very tasty. There is no protein taste, and all the components work well together for a smooth and satisfying experience. If they could pare down the excess calories (a Quest bar is 100 fewer, for the same amount of protein), I’d be even happier, but in all honesty 100 calories is not going to make or break me. :) If you’re missing those long-ago-eaten Thin Mints, give this bar a try.

Taste: 8--it has the chocolate and the mint, but not enough mint to compete with the Girl Scouts.
Texture: 10--the coating is very smooth, the crisps are dense and Oreo-like, and the creamy layer makes for a great texture.
Health: 8--it has just as much sugar as protein, along with 25% of your daily saturated fat. Then again, if you’re a “Builder,” those might be assets, along with the 20 grams of protein. GoodGuide gives it a 6.7.
Eat Again? Yeah. I mean, there’s a never-ending supply in the cupboard, right?

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