Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: Clif Builder's Bar S'mores

Since my dad swears by the Clif Builder’s Bars for his protein bar of choice, I finally decided to try one of his Chocolate Mint bars a few weeks ago. Ironically enough, I already had a single bar sitting in my stash. Since the mint bar was pretty good, I decided to pull that other one out and see how it measured up.

Here we have the S’mores Builder’s Bar. This one is a little older than the mint bar I had, and the coating seems like it’s taken a hit. But I’m willing to take full responsibility for that.

On this inside, it’s a crispy base with a gummy layer on top, which I guess is supposed to simulate the marshmallow. It smells sweet, and not just because of the coating: there’s a generic sugary smell that, again, I’m attributing to the marshmallow component of s’mores.

The taste pretty much mirrors this initial impression. There is a sweetish tinge which could pass for marshmallow. The crisps have a mild graham taste that comes through in moments of greatness, but there’s still something slightly off about the whole ensemble. Maybe a bit of a sour aftertaste, just something to remind you it’s fake and manufactured in some huge industrial plant with a billion other protein bars. It’s disconcerting; one minute it hits you like, “YEAH! This is really s’mores!” and the next...well, I had one bite that tasted like Chapstick?! So it’s a trip, that’s for sure. The chocolate coating is fine, but it doesn’t stand out against the other components.

I do like the texture contrast between the crispy base and the gummy marshmallow layer. Flavoring the crisps like graham crackers was a good move, because they’re closer to the same crunchy texture. I wouldn’t mind having a gooier, creamier marshmallow layer, because, well I love marshmallow fluff and gooey toasted marshmallows as much as the next girl.

Overall, I’d call this a B effort. I certainly know what they’re getting at here, and it has moments where it really does taste like s’mores. But it could be better. This bar definitely won’t become a regular, but I won’t say no to eating it again.

Taste: 7.5--really does remind me of s’mores at times; other times, more like Chapstick.
Texture: 9--good contrast between the crisps and gummy marshmallow layer, but I would have liked more of a goo factor.
Health: 8--depending on your needs, there might be too much fat and sugar. But it is marketed toward people who need those kinds of things pre- or post-workout. This is a new flavor, but GoodGuide gives the other Builder’s bars around a 6.7 for health.
Eat Again? Yeah, occasionally.

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