Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: Clif Builder's Bar Cookies & Cream

I have already pled guilty to stealing my dad’s Chocolate Mint Builder’s Bars to review on this blog. He also defaults to the Cookies & Cream flavor, so I’ve seen these little blue labels around the house before. BUT, I’m proud to say, I bought my own Cookies & Cream Builder’s Bar to review rather than snatching someone else’s this time.

They all look the same on the outside, even the contraband. :) Smooth chocolate coating, although this one looks a little on the thin side. It’s bigger than a lot of 20-gram protein bars (68 grams), which I do appreciate.

Wow, this actually looks almost exactly like the S’mores bar, with the exception of the crisps—they’re chocolate instead of graham-colored. I’m not really sure how to take the tan layer on top; it’s obviously supposed to be the “cream” in “cookies & cream,” but the last time I checked the center of an Oreo was definitely white. This looks…I don’t know, dirty somehow. But it smells sweet enough, so let’s dig in.

The first taste is generically sweet—not really reminiscent of anything in particular, but not offensive either. But then I got confused, because I tasted a distinct nutty aftershock. Last time I checked, there were no nuts in Oreos, either. It could have been my taste buds messing with me. Or maybe the blunted, bitter aftertaste of protein manifested itself in strange ways. I don’t know, I’m only reporting my general impressions. Neither the chocolate crisps nor the soft upper layer really stood out flavor-wise.

On the plus side, the texture was, as with the other Builder’s Bars I’ve had, excellent. I love the contrast between crispy like a dense Rice Krispies Treat and the creamy feel you get from that top layer. The coating is soft enough that you don’t really notice it from a texture standpoint, beyond a little bit of creaminess in a chocolate-smear kind of way. But it adds a ton of real chocolate flavor, which is only a bad thing if the inside of the bar is something awesome. Which is not the case here.

This bar doesn’t really remind me of cookies & cream, but it’s not terrible. It’s inoffensive enough that I’d eat it again, but I have to mark it down for unoriginality. The S’mores bar really goes the extra mile to make you feel like you’re eating a s’more, an I was hoping for the same here. But they went for more of a safe generic chocolate bar rather than really trying for Oreos. It’s just chocolate crisps with a vanilla-ish top. Nothing out of the box. Sorry Clif, not my favorite flavor.

Taste: 7.5--nothing that will make you scream “Oreo!”, but it’s pretty innocuous. Not sure what the nutty vibe was about.
Texture: 9--as always, great contrast between soft and crispy for a satisfying snack.
Health: 8--some will be put off by the saturated fat and sugar content, but it does have 20 grams of protein. GoodGuide gives it a 6.6 for health.
Eat Again? Yeah, I guess...but I’d take the S’mores flavor first.

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